Future uncertain for Bacchus Marsh growers

Updated: 26/04/2009

Les White, Weekly Times – 22 April, 2009a

         Les White, Weekly Times – 22 April, 2009b

Victoria’s productive Bacchus Marsh irrigation district has been hit hard by the ongoing drought.

This year, local crops were again saved by water transfers from Gippsland reservoirs.

In recent years, the Bacchus Marsh irrigation scheme has failed to provide sufficient water for vegetable supply contracts.

The open channel distribution system built in the 1920s, is crumbling and as much as 40 per cent of the precious water is lost.

Bore water has become too salty with the aquifer dropping six metres in the past 18 months.

bacchus marsh dryland

Bacchus Marsh grower Frank Ruffo had to buy a second farm in Gippsland with enough water to guarantee vegetable supply for his customers.

“It looks pretty grim at Bacchus Marsh … if the drought continues, piping recycled water from Werribee or subdivision for housing will have to be seriously considered”, said Mr Ruffo.

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