Re-plumbing irrigation in the Murray Darling Basin; an analysis of five years of Australian Government investment Richard McLoughlin. Murray Darling Basin Plan. The Government has committed to implementing the Murray Darling Basin Plan on time and in full. - PowerPoint PPT Presentation
WATER PowerPoint template
Re-plumbing irrigation in the Murray Darling Basin; an analysis
of five years of Australian Government investmentRichard
1The Government has committed to implementing the Murray Darling
Basin Plan on time and in full.
This includes the commitment to bridge the gap by recovering
2750 GL LTAAY of water for the environment.
Murray Darling Basin Plan2On time and in full = 2,750GL by 30
At end April 2014, we had recovered around 70% of the
2,750GL.Sustainable Rural Water Use and Infrastructure Program
The Governments vehicle for water recovery.
Over $10 billion
Water savings are recovered for the environment in order to
bridge the gap to the sustainable diversion limits under the Murray
Darling Basin Plan through three main components:
Three components: Irrigation infrastructure projects; Water
purchase and Supply measures
Water reform has been ongoing government priority dating back to
Infrastructure biggest component (~$6b), followed by water
purchase (~$3b) and supply measures (~$1b)
SRWUIP infrastructure program aims to achieve positive outcomes
for industry, communities and the environment. It provides direct
employment and environmental benefits to regional areas.
Table predicts remaining water recovery effort in the Basin.
Based on projections of future water recovery from future
infrastructure investment and supply measures.
Point out that performance of supply measures (Green) will
dictate the size of the remaining recovery (Red) zone.
Supply measures based on default apportionment outlined in the
IGA on Implementing Water Reform in the MDB.5SRWUIP
The majority of rural water infrastructure funds have been
committed to projects in the Murray-Darling Basin for improving the
operation of off-farm delivery systems and helping irrigators
improve on-farm water use efficiency.
Water savings are shared between the Australian Government for
environmental use and irrigators for consumptive use, supporting
increased productivity and economic activity in regional
communities.SRWUIP facts at end of March 2014
Approx 98% total funding committed to known programs or
projects, ~80% of which is currently under contract. Of funding
currently committed, 93% has been committed to activities in the
MDB, of which around 88% relates to infrastructure upgrades.
The Government has committed to achieving at least 600GL from
infrastructure under SRWUIP.
Key focus on MDB infrastructure, but some very significant
activities outside of this
Infrastructure outside of Basin $140m to support more efficient
irrigation in Tasmania $40m for system upgrades in the Harvey and
Gascoyne Irrigation areas of WA
Non-infrastructure: Over 80% of water entitlements in MDB
irrigation are now covered by irrigation system modernisation plans
funded under SRWUIP Assessment of risks and opportunities for
groundwater extraction in the Qld coal-seam gas industry. $100m
Economic diversification program for local communities, which is
managed by the Department of Regional Development CSIRO sustainable
yields studies to predict future water trends in Tas and Southwest
State Priority Projects (up to $3.2b)Other
commitmentsinclude:State led projectsCommonwealth led
projectsVictoria $1,103mSouth Australia $420mQueensland $160mNew
South Wales $708mAustralian Capital Territory $85mNSW Private
Irrigation Infrastructure Operators ProgramSouth Australia Private
Irrigation Infrastructure Program Strengthening Basin Communities
On-Farm Irrigation Efficiency $450mIrrigation in Tasmania SPPs
8Designing rural water infrastructure programsConsultation with
industry has helped ground programs in local/industry
Programs like NSW Private Irrigation Infrastructure Operators
Program (PIIOP) see locally-driven design for major system
refurbishmentFit for purpose and meeting local needsDesign built on
good planningSound technical underpinningProperly costedCompetent
project managementPositive cost benefit
Industry input into design very important to ensure uptake.
OFIEP example: Industry used Round 1 to test waters, more interest
from different delivery partners in Round 2, then Rounds 3 and 4
have been significantly over-subscribed at the application
Use PIIOP example: undergo IMPA, then Hotspots, then use this
info to apply for funding under PIIOP.
3 activities funded under SRWUIP to ensure high-quality
proposals and successful project implementation.
Fit-for purpose etc are key investment considerations for Cwth.
This is the role of due diligence assessment to ensure that project
investments represent value for money.
9Types of Infrastructure ProjectsPlanning, investigations and
project designWorks on irrigation systems off farm - modernisation
and rationalisationWorks on farm to improve water use
efficiencyWorks to improve ecological health and restore natural
flows Water saving municipal projects e.g. storm water
Ecological health: Works in SA Riverland wetlands and in the
Coorong-Lower Lakes Region.
Municipal projects: SBC water planning and infrastructure works.
70% of local government authorities in the MDB have been involved
in the Program.
Quite successful.10Who are delivering the projects?State
government departments e.g. water, primary industry,
environmentIrrigation infrastructure operators Irrigation industry
associationsIndustry commodity bodiese.g. rice-growers, tomato
growersIndividual irrigatorsCatchment management (resource
management) authorities Local government Water utilitiesCSIRO
(sustainable yields studies)
Commonwealth utilise local delivery partners to deliver
projects. Local knowledge and improved engagement with local
DPs responsible for coordinating individual irrigators and
consolidating water for the Commonwealth. Reduces transaction costs
associated with water conveyancing.
Very rare that we work with individual irrigators. Generally
only occurs in Queensland where water holdings of individual
irrigators are generally much larger. 11Upgrading irrigation
systems off farmWorks to improve efficiency and timeliness of
irrigation water delivery , e.g.Fixing/replacing leaky old
systemsLining channels or replacing channels with pipesAutomation
to improve water deliveryMetering upgrades to meet modern
efficiency standardsReconfiguring and rationalising channel systems
and farm off-takes
Examples:Vic Goulburn-Murray Connections ProgramNSW Private
Irrigation Infrastructure Operators Program
2000km redundant channel rationalised, Water delivery times to
be reduced from up to a week to near on-demand expected to achieve
system efficiency of around 88%, right up there for channel
distribution systems.12Upgrading Irrigation Systems On farm Works
on farm to deliver and use water more efficiently and increasing
productivity, e.g.Improving on farm storage and tail water
recirculation systemInstalling pipes and risersInstalling drip
irrigation systems and centre pivot irrigation as an alternative to
the traditional flood irrigation
Examples:On-Farm Irrigation Efficiency Program in the Southern
BasinVictorian Farm Modernisation Program QLD Water Use Efficiency
ProgramNSW Pilot - Farm Modernisation in Gwydir & Border
OFIEP a flagship Commonwealth infrastructure program.
Strong industry demand. Initially $300m over 3 rounds, recently
announced another $150m in Round Four.
Overall market multiple of around 2.30 over life of the
Led by the Commonwealth. Key difference to Vic farm mod
Risk reward scenario. Full control over project assessment and
can achieve better outcomes, but incurs considerably greater
13Benefits from irrigation infrastructure
investmentCommunity/industry support for irrigation infrastructure
investment programs is generally strongcreates jobs during
roll-outunderpins long-term viability and economic sustainability
of irrigation industry and regional communities.
Completed projects have demonstrated improved productivity
benefits:increased crop rotation abilityreduced labour
costsincreased crop water use efficiencies improved soil management
reduced maintenancereduced weed control requirementsfarmers share
of water savings available for productionMajority of SRWUIP funding
under contract, and some early projects have been completed.
Currently ramping up the monitoring and evaluation framework
Also evidence to date that actual water savings for some
projects have been greater than expected, the benefit of which is
retained by irrigators.Monitoring and Evaluation NSW PIIOP
exampleRegular contact with grantees to discuss progress and
issuesMilestone payments with evidence of completion of works and
audited financial reportsFinancial reviews to ensure contract
complianceWorkplace Health and Safety reviews to ensure
implementation of legislated requirementsVisits by department staff
to view worksAssisting grantees to provide detailed information on
the programs key performance indicators Departmental staff are in
regular contact with each of the grantees and also visit projects
to view construction works
Every milestone payment involves evidence of progress with the
project and particularly tender documentation and certificates of
Every milestone report must have an independently audited
expenditure report. Final payments require an independent audit of
all payments; and additional independent audits of any payments to
Independent financial experts conduct a review of each grantees
compliance with the financial requirements of the contract during
the projects implementation
Independent WHS experts conduct a review of the systems in place
for compliance with the relevant WHS legislation, and review how
well those systems are actually implemented, with any issues
identified used to strengthen compliance
The final project report for each project will address the PIIOP
key performance indicators among other things, and departmental
staff are working with grantees on the KPI outcomes as projects
Analysis of SRWUIP investment in Centre PivotsStatePivots
fundedAverage Area Irrigated (Ha)Total Area Irrigated (Ha)Capital
Cost (GST excl)Cost/Ha IrrigatedQld HHW969618$1,574,388$2,546NSW
PIIOP955499$1,858,640$3,722Vic Farm Mod1351667$2,650,155$3,973OFIEP
Rd 135501,760$5,555,172$3,157OFIEP Rd
analysis of 130 centre pivot irrigators funded under SRWUIP.In
general, costs decrease with increased area under irrigation. Qld
HHWVic Farm ModAverage cost per hectare irrigated (RED DOT) fits
well with majority of pivots funded under SRWUIP.
Costs generally consistent between projects, but can see
considerable variation of cost within projects.
Vic Farm Mod example. 20Ha difference in area under irrigation,
but larger irrigator costs almost one third more per Ha. Bucks
Closely watching outliers!Liebich Estates PIIPSA Wine grape and
citrus in the SA Riverland
Included upgrades to existing infrastructure, new pumps,
automation and soil monitoring
On-farm water use reduced from 10ML/Ha to 6ML/Ha.
Replaced existing irrigation mainline, installed new, variable
speed pumps, converted 46Ha of crop from overhead sprinkler to drip
irrigation, and installed probes to better monitor soil
Project benefits include 15% increase to crop production,
reduced pumping costs through off-peak watering, and reduced carbon
footprint through reduced diesel consumption.
Saving 4ML/Ha. After returning water to the Commonwealth as a
condition of project investment, there is still around 2ML/Ha
available that was previously not able to be
used.18Trangie-Nevertire Irrigation SchemeIrrigation cooperative in
NSW Macquarie River catchment
Targeted whole of system approach to channel distribution system
and on-farm water loss.
Returned water savings to the Commonwealth of nearly 30GL.
Reduced boom or bust extremes of water supply
Works involved channel lining, channel rationalisation, system
automation, improved telemetry and real-time metering, and
installation of stock and domestic pipelines for every landholder
in the cooperative.
The channel lining material was a durable rubber (EPDM) used to
line dams in USA and Europe, but interestingly the Trangie order is
apparently the largest order that the company has ever
Before the project, the cooperative reduced water losses through
block watering to all customers at the same time, which meant that
the same crops were grown by each farmer. The new system allows for
watering on demand, which provides greater opportunity for crop
diversification.19Lachlan Catchment Management Authority
Regional delivery partner coordinating irrigators around Parkes
Implemented a water storage and reuse scheme utilising lateral
Reduced water use by 3.7ML/Ha
Enables consistent production level and increased financial
One of the early adopters under SRWUIP. On-farm Pilot, rounds 1
and 2 of the OFIEP.
Capturing water for re-use has reduced soil saturation, reduced
runoff into local waterways.
Different business decision by individual irrigator. Mixed
venture farming; half cropping, half beef cattle. Rather than
increase irrigated production with water savings, savings used as
security for dry years.
Designed to maximise capacity for production in dry periods or
years with low water allocation.
20Where to next?Release of the Water Recovery Strategy
Government priority for future recovery of water through
Work with Basin States to develop proposed projects, such as
environmental works and measures, that can deliver Basin Plan
environmental outcomes with less water, thus leaving more water
available for consumptive use. Government has committed to
achieving at least 600GL of the 2,750GL from infrastructure under
At end March, we have project agreements in place to return
543GL to the Commonwealth towards this target.
For future project commitments not yet in contract, is a case of
maximising bang for buck. Aim to maximise water savings and
targeting areas that still require water recovery.
Every extra ML saved through infrastructure investment is one
that does not have to be purchased from irrigators.
21Questions & Discussion