Murrumbidgee residents are being asked to weigh in on the federal government's proposal of two major infrastructure projects that could return up to 750 megalitres of water into the environment.
Two groups in the Hay district are seeking over $24 million between them for projects that will involve the building of over 40 kilometres of pipelines, new groundwater bores, pumps, storage tanks and filtration sites.
They are being put forth as part of the government's $1.54 billion off-farm Efficiency Program.
The Boxyards Road Water Group in Booligal is seeking $8.8 million for infrastructure that could deliver 340 megalitres back to the environment, while the Elwah Pumpers Group is seeking $15.8 million for a project to deliver 410 megalitres.
The Boxyards project would see 43 kilometres of stock and domestic pipelines constructed to supply filtered water to properties along Boxyards Road at Booligal.
It would also entail the building of a groundwater bore with a desalination plant to lock in water security during drought as well as new storage tanks.
Meanwhile, the Elwah Pumpers Group is looking to construct a new 23.3 kilometre channel system, align and realign 5.4 kilometres of existing channels, upgrade a pump station and install a new pump, electrical controls, easements, fencing and metering to ensure 37 kilometres of existing channels are cost effective.
DPE executive director of infrastructure development Lisa Hingerty says the proposed projects would help deliver water to the Murray Darling Basin.
"They will provide a boost for the local economy by generating jobs as well as helping to deliver water to the Murray Darling Basin through new infrastructure that enables industries to make better use of the water they have while improving the health of the river system," she said.
"Eligible projects include upgrades to irrigation networks, stock and domestic water systems along with urban, industrial and mining water infrastructure."
Member for Murray Helen Dalton said the off-farm efficiency program 'needs to listen to locals if it's going to succeed.'
"We live and breathe water savings and we know where the saving are, and where they aren't," Mrs Dalton said.
"In principle, finding efficiencies makes a lot more sense than just buying back water from stressed farmers who don't really want to sell, but who have to.
"That's the kind of opportunistic buying that the federal government plans to do with its 450 gigalitre buyback plan.
"We can't let those buybacks happen. They will be absolutely devastating to our communities."
Ms Hingerty said DPE are eager to hear from those in the Murrumbidgee and Lachlan areas on the proposals.
Submissions close November 27. Click here for more information and to have your say.
Our journalists work hard to provide local, up-to-date news to the community. This is how you can access our trusted content: