Irrigation is important for around 60% of Queensland’s sugarcane production and CANEGROWERS members need access to reliable supplies of water at a realistic cost.
CANEGROWERS has supported the process of moving the management of irrigation schemes in key production areas from SunWater to local boards.
CANEGROWERS is urging the Queensland Government to ensure this transition to local management is fully funded and completed quickly.
During this transition, the current irrigation water price path, determined by the Queensland Competition Authority and capped at $2.00 plus CPI, should be maintained.
CANEGROWERS has managed the Queensland Government Rural Water Use Efficiency for Irrigation Futures project (RWUE-IF) worth $2.87 million over four years.
Under the project, growers in the rising groundwater areas of the Burdekin Groundwater Management Area and Arriga basin have been able to access incentives for improving irrigation systems to reduce deep drainage and establish conjunctive use dewatering bores. Added to this, Productivity Services have had funding available to support growers with irrigation decision support information.
RWUE-IF has supported the production of CANEGROWERS Virtual Bus Tour videos.
Investment in water use efficiency and decision support systems such as Irrigweb, weather stations, moisture probes and pump efficiency has created significant water, energy and financial savings under the project.