October was a milestone month as thousands of irrigators received water shares through the Irrigators’ Share Distribution.
This will mean more water for irrigators across our region who can put it to use for production on their farms.
Following the successful completion of our 14-year Connections Project in October last year, the irrigators share of the savings is being distributed to delivery share holders across the Goulburn-Murray Irrigation District (GMID) as part of the Irrigators Share Distribution.
The $2 billion project, funded by the Victorian and Australian governments in partnership with irrigators, modernised an outdated and inefficient irrigation system with world-class infrastructure, which delivers water to irrigators efficiently and reliably so they can get the most out of their water.
In the process, the project recovered 429GL of long-term average annual yield of water.
This major achievement of water savings came after the Connections Project was reset by Victorian Minister for Water Lisa Neville in 2016, getting the project back on track by working with locals to get the best solutions for irrigators in the GMID.
Water recovered became available to irrigators as a mix of high and low reliability shares equating to 77GL of long-term annual average yield.
This is the largest single issue of water shares since the Victorian Water Register was created in 2007 and significant work has been undertaken this year by Goulburn-Murray Water (GMW) to ensure we were ready to issue water shares to the thousands of irrigators across the GMID.
Some of the preparation included comparing and confirming more than 13,000 customer details so water shares were issued to the right customers.
The enormous amount of work that has gone into delivering this generational project cannot be understated and I would like to acknowledge the efforts of everyone involved.
The Irrigators’ Share Distribution provided water shares to almost 7000 customers who hold 0.25ML/day or more of eligible delivery share.
More than 6000 customers with less than 0.25ML delivery shares will receive a credit on their account in July 2022.
Based on data from census date, October 1, 2021, eligible irrigators received either water shares or the financial value of around 4ML of high-reliability water share and around 2ML of low-reliability water shares per 1ML/day of delivery share.
The exact volume issued per 1ML/day of delivery share for the Goulburn and Murray systems can be found on our website at www.g-mwater.com.au
This is a significant investment in the future productivity of the GMID.
As well as providing confidence to our hard-working farming families and businesses when planning for the season, it will offer a much-needed boost to the agricultural sector and attract investment into the region.
Eligible delivery share holders also have the opportunity to use their water shares to pay off their debt.
We are now contacting them to explain how this can easily be done. We have found that through conversations, our customers have been genuinely surprised how much the water shares can help with their debt.
Some customers are already making the decision to sell all or some of their water shares to pay outstanding debt. This will not only help irrigators settle their debts in a timely manner, but allow us to continue to deliver for our customers and region into the future.
For more information about the distribution, visit the GMW website, email ISDProject@gmwater.com.au or call the GMW Irrigators’ Share Distribution Team on 1800 013 357.
GMW Managing director