Home' Future Water : Future Water 2016 Contents Future Water >> Australian Water Management Yearbook >> 131
and 1300 house and garden connections. The main pumping
station pumps water from the River Murray through a network
of 130-kilometre irrigation pipes ranging in diameter from 200
millimetres to 1500 millimetres.
Jubilee Almonds CEO Brendan Sidhu is another appreciative
supporter of SARMS 3IP.
Sidhu admits that in 2013, the Waikerie-based company was also
seriously considering its future viability before the opportunity
came to significantly upgrade its irrigation system. The market was
flat, prices were down and they’d just come out of a drought.
A successful application for a $5.6 million 3IP grant, however,
has allowed Jubilee Almonds to replace its pumps, and install a
new sprinkler and drip irrigation system at the same time as it
undertakes a major replanting on its two properties, and trials
‘Jubilee was established on sprinklers because it’s very sandy
soil and it drifts,’ says Sidhu. ‘With almonds, we have to ground
harvest, so the ground is very important to us; however, we know
we can establish the trees much better on a drip than we can on
sprinklers. We can get them into production more quickly.
‘So, we are converting to a dual system. The idea of the sprinkler
is that it doesn’t put on enough water to irrigate the trees, but it’s
enough to protect from frost and to establish a cover crop that
stops the ground from drifting. And then we use the drip line to
actually feed the trees.’
The 3IP component of the project began last winter, with the
upgrading of the pump house – replacing two 500-kilowatt
pumps with 280-kilowatt vertical turbine pumps that offer greater
flexibility. ‘Because we have some mature plantings and some
young plantings, it means we can change with demand to what we
need,’ Sidhu says.
So far, two replants of 40 hectares and 70 hectares have been
completed, with two more of 70 hectares and 90 hectares to be
undertaken over the next two years.
‘3IP has allowed us to keep farming, and to go on and replant our
orchards,’ Sidhu says. ‘It’s going to give us better productivity, a lot
more efficiency for water and genuine sustainability.’
Overall, SARMS has set the ambitious, but achievable, target
of returning 40 gigalitres of water to the Murray-Darling River
system over the six-year life of the $265 million program. The bulk
of that money – $240 million – is available under 3IP to assist
farming enterprises in optimising water use, and achieving greater
business resilience and productivity.
‘The aim is to help ensure the food- and wine-producing
communities within the Murray Darling Basin are prepared for the
challenges presented by future climate change and changed river
operations as a result of implementation of the Basin Plan,’ says
Daniel Casement, Executive Director of Primary Industries and
Regions SA, Rural Solutions SA division.
The $265 million federal government–funded
SARMS Program has been designed to achieve the
industry-driven outcomes first sought by the Water
Industry Alliance through the original River Murray
Improvement Program – and is now being delivered
on behalf of the South Australian Government by
Primary Industries and Regions SA (PIRSA).
The 3IP is responsible for administering $240 million
of the total SARMS funds. Round 1 and 2 funds
have already been handed out, with Round 3 due to
close in May.
Since 2013, SARMS 3IP have funded 165 projects
to a total value of $170 million.
For every dollar of 3IP investment, it is estimated
that it will stimulate about four times this in
economic activity across the region, resulting in
about $1 billion of economic activity from the total
investment by the Australian Government.
The successful projects receiving grants under 3IP
vary, but include (and are not limited to) investment
in the following:
$47 million on new irrigation technology and
$44 million on land purchase (to help with
economies of scale and greater efficiencies)
$19 million on new crop plantings, and, in some
cases, a complete change of crop
$10.9 million on new equipment – such as new
processing and packing equipment
$1.8 million in shade netting for crops – which
protects crops, but also improves water efficiency.
Renmark Irrigation Trust Upgrade
Links Archive Future Water 2015 Future Water 2017 Navigation Previous Page Next Page