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Tasmania strategy guides rural water use

The Tasmanian Rural Water Use Strategy, released by the state’s government earlier this year, showcases a strong focus on contemporary water management practices to support agriculture, renewable energy and jobs in regional communities.

Minister for Primary Industries and Water Guy Barnett said the strategy aims to ensure water management and regulation remains effective within a changing future.

“Our Rural Water Use Strategy will guide the state’s future water management arrangements to ensure integrated, fair and efficient regulation of our water resources over the next decade and towards 2050,” he said.

“The Rural Water Use Strategy will help protect Tasmania’s environmental values and protect river health while ensuring sustainable outcomes for irrigators and rural communities, while underpinning Tasmania’s growth towards becoming a global leader in the renewable hydrogen sector.”

The Tasmanian government is forming a Rural Water Round Table made up of water users, stakeholders and environmental managers to help implement the strategy, Barnett said.

“This group will provide direction and advice on appropriate, sustainable water use including river health monitoring and management,” he said.

“We are also establishing a River Health Advisory Project with $1.5 million committed over four years to implement initiatives identified in the Rural Water Use Strategy.

“[Funds are] for river health advisory projects and industry communications, streamline dam management and improving dam safety, and monitoring and metering, including modernising licences and permits.”

Stakeholders including TasWater, Hydro Tasmania, Tasmanian Irrigation and the Tasmanian Farmers and Graziers Association were all involved in consultation for the strategy.

“The sustainable development of our water resources has the potential to greatly increase opportunities in irrigated agriculture in Tasmania,” Barnett said.

“This strategy also delivers on key parts of the government’s white paper Competitiveness of Tasmanian Agriculture for 2050, released in 2020 in relation to harnessing our natural capital and climate ready agriculture.”

For more information, access Tasmania’s Rural Water Use Strategy here.