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Murrumbidgee irrigators’ generous water donation

Wednesday, 29th January, 2020

Murrumbidgee farmers will be generously donating about 28 megalitres of water to the Far West via the Wentworth to Broken Hill pipeline (pictured during it’s construction in 2018). PICTURE: Michael Murphy Murrumbidgee farmers will be generously donating about 28 megalitres of water to the Far West via the Wentworth to Broken Hill pipeline (pictured during it’s construction in 2018). PICTURE: Michael Murphy

By Emily McInerney

Murrumbidgee farmers have given graziers in the Far West a generous donation of previous water.

The group of farmers recently contacted  Regional Development Australia Far West to tell them of their plan and to help put it in motion.

RDA Far West CEO, Michael Williams, said it came about after they were contacted by the Murrumbidgee local MP’s office.

“They were interested in getting the water out,” Mr Williams said.

“These farmers have purchased water on the open market and donated it to support the sustainability of farmers in Far West NSW,” he said.

“They didn’t have the water, they’ve bought water on the open market. It will end up being about 28 megalitres that will need to be distributed.”

Mr Williams said there was a bit of red tape to deal with but now Essential Water was in control of the water.

“It’s been transferred to Essential Water and it can be accessed through the Wentworth pipeline,” he said.

“Essential Water is working to establish new stand pipes that will make access more efficient and reduce the costs associated with water carting.”

Mr Williams said people interested in getting access will have to pay for cartage but that the water was free.

“It is targetted for the farmers, but anyone in the Unincorporated Area can access it.

“If residents need it, they just have to contact us.

“It’s predominantly for stock and domestic farmers. 

“Essential Water have been fantastic. They are building new infrastructure to support the water, which should be ready in about six to eight weeks.

“However, water is now available through the existing infrastructure - just contact us if you are interested in accessing it.”

Mr Williams said RDA Far West sincerely thanked the farmers in the Murrumbidgee region, who were themselves struggling through the drought, for their recognition and support. 

“Surely the farmers themselves are not doing it easy, but they were ready to help others out. It was so refreshing to receive the call.”

He said RDA Far West also thanked Essential Water, Broken Hill City Council and Central Darling Shire Council for their support in ensuring the water is made available as quickly as possible.

People living in the Unincorporated Area and Central Darling Shire who wish to access water through this donation should contact RDA Far West to arrange access at admin@rdafarwestnsw.org.au or by phoning 8087 8383.

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