The Victorian government has announced a $500,000 study to look at the potential development of irrigation, in central Gippsland.
The feasibility study will examine potential infrastructure options for expanding irrigation development - based on customer demand and willingness to invest - and water availability.
"We have modernised irrigation systems and expanded the water grid in regions across the state and this work will help give us a sound basis for any further decisions," Water Minister, Lisa Neville said.
Agriculture Minister Jaclyn Symes said the region had faced several tough years, with drought and bushfire, so it was vital to support farmers, by looking at how to adapt to a drying climate.
The study builds on pre-feasibility work undertaken by Southern Rural Water in 2018 to identify potential development opportunities in the Latrobe, Thomson, Macalister and Avon catchments.
Once complete, it will assist informed decision making for any future strategic investment in rural water infrastructure.
Key stakeholders will help identify preferred infrastructure options based on demand and water availability.
Southern Rural Water will conduct the study and Gippsland communities will have an opportunity to provide their feedback and expertise in helping shape the work.
The work will feed into the government's Sustainable Water Strategy, to be conducted over the next twelve months in central Victoria including Gippsland.
The strategy is a regular examination of the water resource and its management in a given region.
The farm gate value of Gippsland's food is $1.5 billion a year with the industry generating more than 16,000 jobs.
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