The Cubbie Ag Irrigation Project is an economic and ecological model for sustainable development in inland Australia. The main features of the model being that only a share of any river flow is harvested, ensuring continuance of flows downstream. The harvested water is stored efficiently through the use of deep storages which reduce evaporation, making more water available for irrigation. The project is integrated into the flood plain to allow the passage of flood waters and the project is a closed system. All irrigation and storm water discharge is recycled, ensuring that there is no topsoil or nutrient discharge to rivers of the Murray Darling Basin.
The Cubbie project shows how Australian initiative and engineering coupled with vision and determination can overcome obstacles to increase production while still maintaining a fragile and natural environment.
Cubbie Ag strives to be a globally competitive low cost diversified producer of superior agricultural commodities that maximizes the use of quality agricultural land and attached water entitlements in a sustainable manner.
- All water diversions are authorised by the Condamine-Balonne Water Resource Plan
- River flows – only a portion of any flow is extracted ensuring flows continue to the downstream river system
- Floodplain flows – the volume of floodplain flow diverted is water that would have been naturally consumed through seepage, evaporation and evapo-transpiration in the areas that are now levied off from the floodplain. This extraction has no impact on water passing downstream
- Cubbie Ag on average extracts only 0.25 of 1% of the Murray flow
- Once the volume of water is extracted, it is then stored in deep storages which are configured in a cell arrangement to minimise evaporation
- The development is integrated into the floodplain to ensure the passage of flood waters to the downstream river system
- The development is a closed system ensuring no nutrients or topsoil enters the rivers on the Murray Darling system