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Murray Irrigation aims to bring more water into the district

Murray Irrigation is investigating further opportunities to encourage investment and water use in the region following the encouraging uptake of the Snowy Advance options, which close today.

Murray Irrigation Chairman, Mark Robertson said the Board was committed to getting more water and more investment into the region through innovative thinking and further infrastructure optimisation that can result in water savings to benefit the Company.

“We have had a great response to the Snowy Advance and there are still applications coming in today to be considered before close (at 5pm Friday 13 May),” he said.

“This clearly shows that people in this region want a planning base to be productive and will use water when it is available. “The Board sees modernising our system to make water available in a more efficient way as a number one priority and we are looking at a number of optimisation initiatives and funding opportunities to achieve this.

“Whether using our own capital or other funding options that are available, the Board will proactively seek opportunities while looking at returning on our investments through capturing water back into the system. “We are committed to finding opportunities that present a significant advantage for the Company and our customers and if we can use infrastructure funding to keep water in our system rather than have it leak or seep out, then that is a benefit. “One of the main drivers of this is the equitable distribution and increasing value of water.”

Murray Irrigation CEO, Michael Renehan, said that while bringing costs down has been successful, the organisation now needs to pull the ‘volume lever’. “We need to attract water into our infrastructure, both for us within our footprint and for transmission downstream”, Mr Renehan said. “Environmental water is increasingly becoming an important customer and we need to work with various government departments to ensure the efficient distribution of their requirements,” he said.

Mr Renehan explained that the Company is focussed on seeking opportunity for the region to become more competitive within the agricultural and farming fields and remain innovative within the irrigation industry. “Future works we are investigating will link in with our current projects and integrate the entire system, leading to an optimised irrigation service. Our goal is to provide a modern, flexible service that our customers want,” he said.

“We are proposing to undertake a series of thorough business cases on initiatives such as upgrading the Mulwala canal infrastructure, channel lining, further reconfigurations or more efficient stock and domestic systems and looking to redefine and reduce our network.

The business case must show any savings are real and will provide tangible benefit that we can pass on to our customers. “The idea is to build on the works and upgrades we are currently rolling out to enhance the entire system through these initiatives.

“We want to finish the job we have started and bring Murray Irrigation into the 21st century,” Mr Renehan said.

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