RMCG completed a socio-economic study of the impact of the Basin Plan across the Goulburn-Murray Irrigation District (GMID). The study was commissioned by concerned agencies and stakeholders in the region.
The aim of the study was to:
A key part of the analysis was understanding the high variability between seasons in the volume of water that is available for consumptive use. A complex mix of irrigation sectors has therefore grown up, each with a different ability-to-pay in the highly competitive water markets and with differing reliance on the relative security of that supply. A ‘dynamic equilibrium’ has become established between three core sectors, including horticulture, dairy and annual crops.
This means that reducing the size of the consumptive pool impacts across low, medium and high value sectors.
The study showed that the Basin Plan has created a range of impacts for the GMID and its regional community.
Any further reduction in water availability as part of the future implementation of the Basin Plan will undermine the viability of the GMID. This is particularly evident with a 750GL option which would involve drought year water use for the entire GMID of only 200GL, a level at which it would not be viable to run the entire GMID. Any such change would risk undermining the resilience of the regional irrigation community, which has so far demonstrated remarkable resilience in a way that dryland farming communities cannot.
To download the full report click here.