Primary Industries
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South Australian River Murray Sustainability Program (SARMS)

The River Murray is central to the social and economic structure of the South Australian Murray-Darling Basin region.

The river corridor is home to more than 90,000 people who rely on the prosperity of their local industries to sustain their communities.

By working to develop more industries in the region that are less dependent on water, our river communities are better placed to respond and be more resilient to the effects of fluctuating water availability and future climate change challenges.


The $265 million South Australian River Murray Sustainability (SARMS) program is funded by the Australian Government, under a National Partnership Agreement, and is being delivered by PIRSA over six years to mid-2019.

SARMS is helping to secure the future health of the South Australian River Murray region and supporting the growth of strong and sustainable irrigation communities.

SARMS is helping to:

  • build strong and sustainable irrigation communities
  • secure water resources needed for a healthy environment and a prosperous state
  • boost regional productivity and help river communities adapt to a future of reduced water availability.

SARMS has been designed to achieve the outcomes sought by the Water Industry Alliance and agreed as part of the Basin Plan package negotiated by the State Government in 2012.

SARMS comprises two areas of investment:

  • $240 million Irrigation Industry Improvement Program (SARMS 3IP).
  • $25 million Regional Economic Development program. This encompasses the Regional Development and Innovation Fund (RDIF), the Industry-led Research Sub-program (IRSP) and the Loxton Research Centre redevelopment..

You can watch our SARMS video:

Irrigation Industry Improvement Program (SARMS 3IP)

The $240 million 3IP component of SARMS is a competitive grants program created by industry to support the restoration of a healthy Murray Darling Basin environment by aiming to recover 40GL of water access entitlements from participating irrigators.

3IP is the flagship element of SARMS and is supporting SA River Murrayirrigators to remain at the forefront of irrigation practice and the wider communities, in their efforts to be better placed to respond to the Murray Darling Basin Plan and be more resilient to the effects of fluctuating water availability.

Under Round 1 and 2, the $240 million SARMS 3IP has offered almost $164 million and helped secure around 33 gigalitres of water ready to be returned to the river. Contracts for Round 3 projects are currently being finalised.

Subscribe to the 3IP mailing list to have program announcements emailed to you.

More information regarding 3IP.

Regional economic development

The Regional Economic Development (RED) element of SARMS complements the investment currently being made through the 3IP, and will support diverse new business and employment opportunities that address the socio-economic requirements under the Murray Darling Basin Plan.

Please email us if you have any questions about the SARMS RED programs.


Page Last Reviewed: 12 Jul 2016

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