Harvey Water is one of 39 privatised / corporatised irrigation districts throughout Australia, supplying irrigation water to 1.75 million hectares or 70% of Australia’s 2.5 million irrigated hectares.
Harvey Water (formerly South West Irrigation) was privatised in 1996 and is a company owned by the local irrigators in a two cooperative structure. One cooperative owns the assets while the other is contracted to carry out work on them. (South West Irrigation Asset Cooperative and South West Irrigation Management Cooperative, respectively).
Irrigators own shares in the cooperatives, which gives them a Transferable Water Entitlement (historically based on 9.2 ML/rated ha). The Transferable Water Entitlement can be traded on a free market so that water can flow to where its economic return is greatest.
The strategic vision of Harvey Water is:
“To stimulate regional economic development through our access to irrigation water.”
This vision, and our strategic operational focus is consistent with the National Water Initiative (NWI), a continuing national imperative to increase the productivity and efficiency of Australia's water use, to address the need to service rural and urban communities and to improve environmental management practices. Water that becomes available due to improved delivery efficiencies then becomes available for trade with the funds generated being turned back into further investments in distribution efficiency.
More about the NWI can be located here.