Funds announced for River Murray sustainability research

Media Release

WT219/2014

29 October 2014

Joint release with:

Geoff Brock

SA Minister for Regional Development
SA Minister for Local Government

Adaption of established and new crops to extreme temperatures will be a focus of research offered funding under Round One of the South Australian River Murray Sustainability Programme's Industry-led Research Sub-Programme (IRSP).

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure and Regional Development Warren Truss said the Australian Government will provide $5 million in funding over four years to the South Australian Government to deliver the IRSP.

“The IRSP will improve regional productivity and innovation by commissioning industry-led applied research in priority research areas,” Mr Truss said.

“Round One is offering $1.8 million of the $5 million, with a focus on ensuring River Murray agricultural communities can adapt to climate variations, including extreme temperatures.

“This programme has been designed to benefit industry in the long term and help river communities adapt to a future where more water is being provided to the environment.”

South Australian Minister for Regional Development Geoff Brock said the University of Adelaide will be one of the Round One funding recipients.

“The University is leading the way in preparing River Murray communities to improve irrigation efficiency and reduce drainage volumes, water quality impacts and land salinity,” Mr Brock said.

“After the devastating impacts on infrastructure and regional communities as a result of the drought from 2007 to 2010, this research will help the Lower Murray region be more resilient to future droughts and to build strong economic outcomes.”

Other projects to be funded in Round One include:

  • research to prepare the $104 million South Australian almond industry for changes in climate and to avoid salt stress during critical growth stages;
  • a regional assessment of climate and water risks for irrigated industries; and
  • sustained performance of rootstock in Lower Murray horticulture.

The IRSP is part of the Regional Economic Development element of the $265 million South Australian River Murray Sustainability Programme. More information is online at http://pir.sa.gov.au.