Efficiency measures include irrigation infrastructure works or upgrades that will result in the same or improved agricultural production with less water. Resulting water savings will be transferred to the Australian Government for environmental use without adverse impact on production in the Basin.
Under the Efficiency Measures Programme, $1.57 billion is available for upgrading both on-farm and off-farm irrigation and water use infrastructure.
The final 450GL will be recovered through the Murray-Darling Basin Water Infrastructure Program. Projects will be managed by Delivery Partners acting for water rights holders or directly with water rights holders as Project Partners.
The program will provide funding for projects to implement better, more efficient infrastructure to reduce water consumption. The program will fund five types of projects:
- Urban water efficiency projects
- Industrial water efficiency projects
- Off-farm projects
- Metering projects
- On-farm projects.
or the environment by making water delivery systems for consumptive use more effective and efficient.
The first efficiency measure project in South Australia, the Commonwealth On-Farm Further Irrigation Efficiency (COFFIE) program, is currently in its first (pilot) phase.
Through this project, the Australian Government provides funding for irrigation infrastructure upgrades and other on-farm water efficiency activities, in return for the water savings transferred from irrigators to the Australian Government.
The delivery partner for this pilot in South Australia is the South Australian Murray-Darling Basin Natural Resources Management Board.
Find out more about the COFFIE program.
Other efficiency projects in South Australia are currently being investigated.