The irrigators' survey project provides the primary data for use in the socio-economic monitoring of the water sharing plans in NSW. The NSW Office of Water invites irrigators to participate in voluntary telephone surveys covering questions regarding farm enterprises, water use and its efficiency, water trading, employment, and other economic and social indicators.

The information collected through the surveys will enhance future industry and government decision-making on water planning and management, and contribute to the review of water sharing plans.

Irrigators' survey 2013 results

The Irrigators' Survey 2013 is the fourth survey undertaken since 2006 to monitor socio economic indicators in NSW water sharing plan areas.

The 2013 survey was open to all irrigators (approximately 25,000) covering regulated river, unregulated river and groundwater sources across the state. This included members or shareholders in the private irrigation areas such as Murray Irrigation, Murrumbidgee Irrigation, Coleambally Irrigation, Western Murray Irrigation, and other Private Irrigation Districts and Trusts.

For the 2013 survey 1,860 telephone interviews were conducted by a consultant between March and August 2013.

The report below gives the outcomes of the 2013 statewide survey and provides a comparison with the aggregated data from the 2009 and the 2010 surveys.

Different climatic conditions prevailed during the survey periods, and therefore the results of this report should be interpreted with caution.

Irrigators' survey 2010 results

The Irrigators' Survey 2010 was the first repeat survey and third in the series. This survey targeted irrigators in areas where water sharing plans were first implemented in 2004, the same group covered by the 2006 survey. This includes major regulated river water licence holders and shareholders in private irrigation companies such as Murray Irrigation, Murrumbidgee Irrigation, Coleambally Irrigation, Western Murray Irrigation, Private Irrigation Districts and Trusts.

Nearly 1,250 irrigators were interviewed for the 2010 survey. The results of the 2010 survey were compared to the baseline data collected in the 2006 survey in order to measure changes.

The report below gives the outcomes of the 2010 survey and provides a comparison with the outcomes of the 2006 survey:

The comparative results of 2006 and 2010 cover survey periods with variable climatic conditions, and should be viewed with care.

Irrigators' survey 2009 results

The 2009 irrigators' survey completed the benchmarks to monitor social and economic changes over time in the water sharing plans areas. The survey targeted irrigators in areas where water sharing plans were implemented since 2004, or are currently under development. This included water licence holders of many of the unregulated rivers and the large inland groundwater systems across NSW.

Nearly 1,450 irrigators from these areas across NSW participated in this voluntary survey to help build a detailed baseline data and profile of the state's irrigation industry.

The report below gives the outcomes of the 2009 survey:

The 2009 survey was conducted when significant areas of NSW were in drought, and should be viewed with care.

Irrigators' survey 2006 results

Nearly 1,130 irrigators participated in the 2006 survey. It targeted irrigators from areas where 31 water sharing plans were implemented in 2004. These water sharing plan areas were largely the regulated river systems across NSW and represented 80 per cent of surface water entitlement. The 2006 survey set benchmarks for these areas in order to monitor social and economic changes over time.

The report below gives the outcomes of the 2006 survey:

The 2006 survey was conducted at a time of drought and as such, the results should be viewed with care.