It couldn’t be a more critical time to be investing in some innovative solutions to water security for our regional communities. Food Next Door Co-op are honoured to have received support from the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning to do exactly that.
The Community Water Bank is an idea that has been talked about in the north-west corner of Victoria for quite a while – water owned by the community to be used for the benefit of the community. This project will establish the Community Water Bank and the rules for the distribution and allocation of water from the bank.
The Community Water Bank will be piloted alongside Food Next Door’s Community Demonstration Farm, a site that will educate and support farmers and the broader community in Sunraysia about the environmental, economic and social benefits of small-scale, regenerative farming. The Water Bank will provide water to eligible farmers at an affordable and predictable price, to enable a supply of fresh, nutritious, affordable produce to households all year round.

The project will culminate in a launch event to attract and receive donations of water. The Co-op plans to develop an operational model that can be replicated in other regional food systems. With climate change predictions, farmers who are growing food for their local communities will increasingly need access to models like Community Water Banks to ensure that we have strong regional food systems, and Food Next Door hope to demonstrate a successful model with this project.