Water trading eases drought pressure
Gippsland Water has commenced trading groundwater entitlements, assisting farmers in some of Gippsland’s driest areas.
Gippsland Water Managing Director Sarah Cumming said the organisation advertised groundwater available for trade in the Sale, Giffard and Moe groundwater licence zones during April last year and after a slow start, has seen strong interest during recent months.
“This is the first time we’ve embarked on the temporary trade of some of our currently unused water entitlements,” Ms Cumming said.
“With very dry conditions in central and east Gippsland, we had quite a lot of interest from people wanting to buy water from our Sale groundwater licence,” Ms Cumming said.
Ms Cumming said agreements to sell water had already been reached with irrigators from Stratford, Meerlieu, Lindenow and Bengworden. The temporary agreements will be in place for up to five years.
“Water trading has several benefits. The extra supply releases more water for farmers in drought, helps hold groundwater market prices down and provides additional revenue for Gippsland Water, which in turn benefits all of our customers.
“Nine hundred mega litres have been approved for trade this financial year, with a further 3,900 mega litres to be processed over the next four years. This is a significant extra supply for drought affected districts.
Ms Cumming added that all trades are assessed and approved by Southern Rural Water to protect the resource, the environment and other users.
“We would like to reassure our customers that these trades have been made based on detailed analysis of our customers’ current drinking water needs, and will have no impact on our ability on water security,” Ms Cumming concluded.
The approved groundwater trades will come from the Boisdale aquifer which stretches from Golden Beach to Kilmany, Maffra, and almost to Bairnsdale.
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