Community consultation sessions will be held in the Goulburn Murray and Sunraysia Irrigation Districts in Victoria to improve water delivery share arrangements.
Over the last 12 months, the project team has engaged with key industry representatives who have helped to inform the options presented in the discussion paper on the future of delivery shares.
The discussion paper reflects a range of views and challenges around the current delivery share system, as well as differences between the Sunraysia and the Goulburn Murray regions, and puts forward options to improve it.
A delivery share is an entitlement paid by landowners to cover the costs of delivering water in irrigation districts, defined by a rate of megalitres per day.
The opening of community consultation this week is the next step in the Victorian Government’s review of delivery share arrangements, which comes in response to significant changes in land and water use in Northern Victoria over the last ten years.
“This delivery share review will assess the best options for irrigators in Northern Victoria for a fair outcome the community can get behind,” Victorian Minister for Water, Lisa Neville said.
As part of this review, the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning will meet with stakeholders and explore options that deliver the best outcome for communities and farmers.
The review will consider reduced water availability for irrigation, fluctuation in water prices and changes in demand for water.
It will also consider the impact of climate change — with predictions of a hotter, drier climate with lower inflows, longer droughts, less rainfall in the cool season and dams harvesting lower volumes of water.
The review is part of the State Government’s Water for Victoria plan to support irrigation communities as they adjust to changes in climate, water availability and the social and economic impacts of water recovery under the Murray-Darling Basin Plan.