Implementation of this initiative will support a productive, efficient and sustainable irrigation industry in line with improved irrigation infrastructure.Regional delivery partners provide valuable support and advice (in conjunction with incentives to landholders to develop and implement whole farm plans) to encourage best practice farming, reduced off-farm impacts and informed business decisions. In addition, the delivery of regional irrigation development guidelines will help guide new developments to meet high standards as part the water use standard conditions set out under the Water Act 1989

Total EC3 investment: $8.8 m 
2014-15 expenditure: $4.3711 m 
2015-16 expenditure: $4.4289 m 


Key activities undertaken by the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning (DELWP) and funded by this initiative include: 

  • Oversight of investment in regional delivery (supported by the Victorian Water Programs Investment Framework). 
  • Management of a DELWP led  review project with partner organisations looking at the implementation of the Victorian irrigation drainage program during  the 2010-15 period and setting draft directions for 2015-20. 
  • Input into water regulations / Irrigation Development Guidelines processes to support responsive regional implementation of the guidelines and ensure responsive implementation of Annual Use Limits (AULs). 
  • Input into the Basin Salinity Management strategy implementation, including the BSM2030 strategy, and oversight of Victorian Accountable actions, and the annual reporting to the Murray Darling Basin Authority (MDBA). 

This initiative also funded regional implementation of the Sustainable Irrigation Program (SIP), through Catchment Management Authorities (CMAs) and the Department of Economic Development, Jobs, Transport and Resources  (DEDJTR) irrigation extension program.  Funds were allocated to Goulburn Broken, Mallee, North Central, West Gippsland and North East CMAs  for community engagement and implementation of regional strategies (Land and Water Management Plans) in conjunction with irrigation modernisation projects (such as MID 2030 and G-MW Connections Project). 

Highlights include supporting implementation of the Victorian Farm Modernisation Project (implemented through the Farm Water Consortium in the Goulburn Murray Irrigation District), and providing oversight of the Linking Farms and Catchments to Modernisation Stage II in the Goulburn Murray and Macalister Irrigation Districts. The West Gippsland CMA also led a review of the seasonal adjustment processes as part of ensuring adaptive management reflecting contemporary information within the Macalister Irrigation District (MID). Further initiative funding was provided  to the Department of Economic Development, Jobs, Transport and Resources (DEDJTR) to provide on-farm service delivery in support of Whole Farm Planning, irrigation development guidelines coordination, and farm water savings projects advice to irrigators, under the auspices of the Regional Farm Water Program . The Commonwealth also provided funds to support the Victorian Farm Modernisation Project, which undertakes on-farm efficiency works in exchange for the transfer of a minimum of 55 percent of agreed water savings generated through implementation of farm upgrades.

Page last updated: 30/10/18