One Basin CRC success in grant funding for sustainable irrigation regions

Thursday 19 May 

The announcement of $50 million grant from the Commonwealth Government Co-operative Research Centre Program, which together with $106.5 million from 85 partners, will be used to future-proof the Murray-Darling Basin through the newly announced One Basin Co-operative Research Centre (CRC) has been welcomed by Murrumbidgee Irrigation (MI).

Grounded in collaboration and co-design, the One Basin CRC will create and assess new sustainable water and agricultural technologies and drive their adoption by water managers and farmers to increase agricultural production while improving environmental outcomes. A big focus is on optimising water delivery networks, including the river itself. By looking to deliver water in the best way possible to achieve not only production but environmental, social, and cultural outcomes, will realise widespread benefits.

Murrumbidgee Irrigation (MI) CEO, Brett Jones applauded the announcement, “One Basin CRC, shaped by industry, will pave the way to transform irrigation regions across Australia through innovation of water, agriculture and energy technology, enhanced forecasting and decision-making capacity and pathways to adoption and commercialisation. As a Tier Two member of this national consortium, led by the University of Melbourne, MI looks forward to participating in the development and commercialisation of opportunities for Australia’s irrigated agriculture and rural water industries to be more productive, resilient and sustainable in a changing world.”

“MI is extremely pleased that Griffith will be one of four hubs for the CRC’s activities over its ten-year term. The MIA is already a region of excellence when it comes to irrigation and the work that can be undertaken through the CRC will turbo charge the innovation and research already happening in our region and beyond.”

Regionally based research and development will support innovation and adaptation by farmers and communities, resulting in more resilient farms and diversified income streams. Regions will benefit from job growth and socio-economic improvements. Dr Wendy Craik AM, One Basin Chair – Elect has indicated that a strong commitment to regional investment is evidenced by 75 per cent of the CRC’s activities taking place from the regional hubs, working directly with industry, First Nations, community and government.

“MI has long felt that having the responsibility for stewardship and management of water in the hands of the people most impacted is the way to achieve success. The One Basin CRC will see the right people, at the right time, and in the right place, working together on solutions for the long term,” said Mr Jones

“Australia’s irrigation regions are the powerhouse of Australia’s agricultural sector producing 50 per cent of Australia’s agricultural profits, with the Murray-Darling Basin being the focus of two thirds of that irrigated agriculture, Mr Jones noted. We look forward to collaborating with the CRC and having researchers, project managers and science students based in our Hanwood head office. Good science and innovation that can be adopted depends on being on the ground and talking to the water managers and farmers who will be the ones to take that innovation and make it work in the field.”

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