Gunbower Forest Environmental Water Delivery
Client: North Central Catchment Management Authority
The Gunbower Forest is one of The Living Murray icon sites. North Central CMA had undertaken a range of technical studies to identify options for delivery of environmental water requirements to this important wetland.
Independent works to supply the forest watering needs were potentially feasible, but involved significant capital and ongoing costs. Solutions utilising irrigation delivery infrastructure appeared to offer an alternative, but the availability of sufficient spare capacity in future was uncertain and difficult to ascertain due to the potential changes in irrigation demand from factors such as climate change and entitlement buyback programs. Identifying the costs for access to the irrigation system was also difficult as this had not been done elsewhere on the scale proposed.
DG Consulting reviewed the technical work that had been previously undertaken and identified a range of potential options and estimated the present value of each option. The policy positions developed through the Northern Region Sustainable Water Strategy were used as a basis to develop potential pricing arrangements for access to the irrigation network. Review of watering needs and analysis of risks versus costs for delivery services enabled finetuning of the parameters for access to the irrigation system to create a cost-effective option for water delivery that avoided significant infrastructure costs and risks of creating redundant assets.