Managing impacts of irrigation
Over the last 30 years irrigators and government support agencies have made significant progress in managing salinity and nutrient threats on-farm and in the wider environment. Where applicable, these actions have been coupled with increasing farm productivity.
Sustainable Irrigation Program
The Department of Environment and Primary Industries administers the Sustainable Irrigation Program (SIP) with annual State funding of around $5.5 million.
- develops and implements land and water management plans in major irrigation regions to reduce the environmental and third-party impact of irrigation and improve farm water use efficiency;
- ensures Victoria complies with salinity impact obligations under the Murray Darling Basin Agreement – the Basin Salinity Management Strategy; and
- guides irrigation development to meet sustainability and best practice objectives.
The Victorian Government through SIP and in partnership with regional communities invests in programs to improve the efficiency and sustainability of irrigation. This partnership encourages community ownership of land use management and change.
SIP and partners develop, coordinate and implement regional programs. The partners include:
The Sustainable Irrigation Program operates within Federal and State legislation, policies and strategies, as well as regionally-based plans and strategies. These include:
Schedule B of the Murray-Darling Basin Agreement
- implement the Basin Salinity Management Strategy
- manage accountable actions for salinity registers
- Victoria's annual Basin Salinity Management Strategy report
The Water Act (1989)
- support development and management of water-use licences and associated ministerial determinations
- responsible for changes to water-use objectives and standard conditions (including section 51 licence amendments)
- develop and implement irrigation development guidelines
Read more in Governing water resources.
Irrigation and Drainage Memorandum of Understanding
Convene and coordinate State Environment Protection Policy obligations for surface drainage to reduce river impacts