Gwydir Valley Irrigators Association (GVIA) has welcomed the Commonwealth Environmental Water Holder’s (CEWH) announcement that they will tender 5GL of unused Gwydir General Security allocation in the Gwydir Valley.
The CEWH announced the sale of water on Friday, January 5, with the tender opened on Tuesday, January 9 and closed on Thursday, January 11.
This tender is the second for the valley, with 10GL offered in 2014. These trades received record prices and generated more than $3.217M for the CEWH with the average price per megalire of $321.70 across 16 trades.
CEWH’s David Papps said the trade in the Gwydir followed detailed consideration of the environmental conditions locally and across the Murray-Darling Basin, as well as implications for irrigators and their communities.
“Trading allocation water is a particularly useful management tool because it provides the flexibility to buy and sell according to environmental circumstances, so that I can use environmental water to its best effect in the locations where it is most needed,” he said.
“I have decided to trade 5GL of water allocations because there is enough environmental water available and in the near future to continue to build environmental resilience in the Gwydir.”
GVIA executive officer Zara Lowien said with changes to the Commonwealth Water Act, it will mean the proceeds from this current sale will provide a fantastic opportunity for the CEWH to invest in environmental projects in the Basin providing a win-win for irrigators, the local economy and community, and the environment.
"Previously, proceeds from tenders are held in a special account for the purchase of more water allocation or entitlements,” she said.
"This trade will allow the CEWH to use the proceeds for environmental benefit.
"We're hoping they will consider addressing environmental constraints, in the Gwydir like cold water pollution or riparian management or other projects around the Basin. We believe this tender will be again popular with irrigators, like the previously over-subscribed tender in 2014.”
Ms Lowien said while planting conditions for this season had a cool and wet start, prolonged dry weather with high temperatures will mean there are irrigators looking to secure additional water.
“This trade announcement is an opportunity to maximise yield potential, which will provide flow on benefits through the local economy with more jobs and services,” she said. "We encourage all Gwydir irrigators to get involved with this process.”
More information on the trade and how to be involved can be access via the CEWH water trade website.