Two decades of Australian National University research has culminated in a new project being rolled out to the region's farmers, described as having one of the best cost-benefit ratios of any on-farm management.
Sustainable Farms is led by a cross-disciplinary research team from ANU, who have most recently been looking into dams and shelter-belts.
Professor David Lindenmayer said improving water quality of dams by digging them deeper, adding vegetation and fencing to reduce sediment, and creating a hardened access surface for stock to reduce secretions in the water were all strategies identified from their research.
"We want to get the message out there, that there are ways to remodel farm dams ... of which 97 per cent are under-performing," he said.
"When you have an area managed in this way, it also means when it does rain and the drought breaks all the sheep and cow poo doesn't wash into the dam.
"When this waste gets washed into dams, it becomes nitrogenous waste which produces huge amounts of greenhouse gas emissions.
"So this is also a way for farmers to manage some of the emissions on their farm."
Project worker Mason Crane said there were proven benefits to managing natural assets on farms.
"By having good shelter in your paddock, you can have up to 20 per cent increased wool growth," he said.
"A study from Canada shows you have 20 per cent better weight gain when you provide good-quality water for your stock.
"When everyone's doing it a little tough, the benefit of these green areas on farms and seeing life still kicking around also has a massive benefit for mental health."
Federal Agriculture Minister David Littleproud was in Wodonga this week to announce $5.9 million for the project led by ANU, who will be holding workshops to pass on their findings.
"We spend billions of dollars a year on livestock breeding and pasture improvement but hardly anything on water management," Dr Lindenmayer said.
"Doing a cost-benefit analysis ... the benefit you get back is huge."