Wading through paperwork and bureaucracy when it comes to buying and selling water is no mean fete, however a new scheme has now been given the green light to give irrigators more options.
The Liverpool Plains Shire Council will soon have up to 250 megalitres of Quirindi's unused town water allocation for irrigators to purchase.
The allocation is decades old and is classified high security town water supply, and this would be the first time council has made this kind of arrangement.
I think our farmers have been looking for it for a while, and the fact is is that it's there, and we need to utilise it.Doug Hawkins
Council has only been using a portion of that allocation, which has left them with extra up their sleeve. They will temporarily transfer a portion of that water to the Zone 1 for irrigators to then purchase.
Mayor Doug Hawkins was proud of being able to offer this alternative.
"I think our farmers have been looking for it for a while, and the fact is is that it's there, and we need to utilise it," he told ACM.
Currently organised for the 2020 to 2021 period, the scheme could be extended next year, depending on how much water is left over if the town experiences it's predicted growth over the next few years.
Talks around the arrangement commenced in 2019, however it has only been approved now after recent rainfall reduced the need for more water, and paperwork difficulties tied proceedings up.
It's hoped this new allocation will provide irrigators with some certainty in planning their cropping options for next year, providing extra water into the Zone 1 system with the bonus of enabling irrigators to increase their productivity.
"Council will adopt a fair and equitable distribution guideline for irrigator's participation and a panel of Council and irrigator members will oversee the scheme's distribution of available water," he said.
He said it furthers council's policies and community strategic plan which has a strong focus on financial, economic, social and environmental sustainability.