Farm Guide VIC : 2010 - 2011
50 Rural & Regional Development Improving water use efficiency is vital to communities across the State. This is why the Victorian Gover nment continues to invest in improving the efficiency of the distribution of water with programs like the Wimmera-Mallee Pipeline, and the Northern Victoria Irrigation Renewal Project which delivers the Food Bowl Modernisation Program in northern and central Victoria. Each provides significant benefits for farmers and farming communities in regions which would other wise be dry as dust. Pipeline saves billions of litres in the Wimmera Mallee The Wimmera-Mallee Pipeline is one of Australia's most signif icant water-saving infrastr ucture projects. The $688 million project includes construction of 8,800km of pipeline to replace 17,500km of inefficient open channels, saving over 100 billion litres of water every year. Six years ahead of schedule A partnership between the Victorian Government, the Commonwealth Gover nments and the local Grampians Wimmera Mallee Water (GWM Water), the project has been delivered six years ahead of schedule and the benefits are already f lowing to regional communities. The availability of water in the Wimmera Mallee is the region's most important driver of economic growth. The people in the dry-land farming communities here understand this better than anyone, having been left to the whim of seasonal rainfall for generations and recently dealt with the worst drought conditions for over 100 years. Source of more than half our grain crops Despite such hardship, the Wimmera-Mallee remains a major agricultural and food producing region for Victoria, one which generates about $1.8 billion and directly supports over 5,800 jobs. Together, the region's 6,700 farms produce more than half Victoria's total grain crops. Today, the Wimmera-Mallee Pipeline returns water sec urity and better quality water to this highly productive region, bringing benefits for business, community, recreation and the environment. Increasing regional opportunities The government is now investigating new ways in which the region can further capitalise on the economic development opportunities created by the pipeline. GWM Water Managing Director, Jeff Rigby, said the investment has contributed greatly to the region's economy, creating jobs and boosting skills. "From accommodation providers to retailers, the f low-on benefits from the Wimmera Mallee Pipeline have helped businesses of all kinds throughout the region," he said.
2009 - 2010