Australia: New groundwater study could boost farming

Australia’s Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Agriculture and Water, Barnaby Joyce, has announced AUD$100,000 (US$75,000) in funding for a feasibility study into accessing deep groundwater in the south-west of the country that could provide a boost for farmers. The study will be fast-tracked and has the potential to provide access to extra water and facilitate opportunities to expand the production of dairy. It is estimated that an additional 15,000 million litres could be allocated from deep groundwater, which would be seen as a huge asset to the local economy. Providing local farmers with access to new sources of reliable water would support regional growth by encouraging new investment in the agricultural sector. The study will look at economic returns and sustainability in identifying the best sites for new water infrastructure.