The key focus of the Regional Sustainability Program is the region’s vital water resources, which are primarily sourced from the Murray River.
Key Assets Protected by the Program
Water resources represent a major asset of the Victorian Mallee, with an estimated 485,000 megalitres (MLs) of water entitlements held within the region. Water resources provide the critical input for production in irrigated agriculture and for all the region’s communities through watering of stock and for domestic and industrial consumption. Through integration with the parallel River and Wetland Program, the Regional Sustainability Program also addresses impacts on floodplain health, primarily resulting from the impacts of the consumptive use of water.
Threats to Key Assets
Threats to water resources primarily arise from irrigation through salinity impacts caused by groundwater mobilisation. The Regional Sustainability Program undertakes projects which collectively aim to address these threats. The program is developed, funded and implemented through a partnership of regional agencies, state and federal governments.
The Goal for the Regional Sustainability Program as stated in the Mallee Regional Catchment Strategy (2013 – 2019) is "To protect and improve the quality of water resources associated with people's entitlements to water, taking account of environmental constraints."
Core Project Areas
Core project areas within the Regional Sustainability Program include:
Irrigation incentives and rebates to encourage the adoption of irrigation best management practices
Projects that encourage sustainable irrigation farming practices
Salinity accountability projects
Monitoring & Evaluation of program effectiveness
Research projects predominately investigating hydrogeology and the dynamics of the land-water interface
Strategies, Policies, Plans and Guiding Documents
There are a number of important strategies, policies and plans which guide the implementation of the program. These include;
Victorian Government’s Our Water Our Future;
Ministerial Determinations relating to water use;
Reports and Publications
There are a number of Project Reports that have been developed for the program and are available to the general public.
The following fact sheets and technical bulletins have been published by the Mallee CMA Regional Sustainability Unit: