This paper explores some of the factors that may contribute to the sustainable use of water on irrigated dairy farms in Victoria, Australia. The paper begins with a discussion of the principles of sustainable water use as they would apply to dairy farms in the Gippsland region of Victoria. A series of indicators are used to link aspects of sustainable water use at a regional scale, and the observable trends are discussed. Of particular interest is the way that local river systems contribute to the dairy industry in this region and the aspects of dairying and other significant regional factors that may be impacting on the sustainability of river systems in this area. The indicators are structured and analysed using the Pressure-State-Response (PSR) framework developed by the OECD, most commonly used in State of the Environment reporting. The trends highlighted by the indicator set are discussed in terms of the implications that current patterns of water use may have for possible shifts towards more sustainable water use on individual dairy farms in Gippsland.

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