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About SA River Murray Sustainability Irrigation Industry Improvement Program

prosperous industry,
clean environment,
sustainable regions


The South Australian River Murray Sustainability Program (SARMS) will build strong and sustainable irrigation communities and help to secure water resources needed for a healthy environment and a prosperous state.

SARMS is a $265 million funding package resulting from collaborative efforts between the Australian and South Australian Governments and the water industry. It comprises two areas of investment: the Irrigation Industry Improvement Program (SARMS-3IP) and a suite of regional development, research and innovation programs that includes the redevelopment of the Loxton Research Centre.

SARMS will be delivered by the South Australian Government and has been designed to achieve the outcomes sought by the Water Industry Alliance in their original River Murray Improvement Program proposal.

$240 million in total funding is available through the six year SARMS-3IP to support irrigation farming enterprises optimise water use and achieve greater business resiliency and productivity.

SARMS-3IP will help ensure our food and wine producing industries and communities within the South Australian Murray Darling Basin (SAMDB) are prepared for the challenges presented by future climate change and changed River operations as a result of implementation of the Basin Plan. The Program will contribute to the return of 40 gigalitres of water to the river system by providing avenues to return water at market price or through irrigation efficiency improvements. The Program will also provide support for projects that achieve improvements in irrigation farming infrastructure, business practices and operations.

SARMS-3IP Regional Support Officers are available to provide guidance and information in applying to the Program and help with any implementation issues for successful applicants.

Regional Support Officer

Water Return Target

The South Australian River Murray Sustainability Program has set the ambitious but achievable target of returning 40gigalitres of water to the Murray Darling River system over the life of the program.

Come back and check our progress toward achieving water return targets