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Murray Irrigation hosts Mexican delegates

A delegation of Mexican irrigators and Water User Association officials were in Deniliquin on Wednesday 16 September as part of a tour of the region.

The tour was hosted by Rubicon Water and included a stop at the Deniliquin RSL Club for a presentation from Murray Irrigation, before an inspection of irrigation infrastructure near Blighty. The 29 visitors included ‘Module officials’ (Water User Association officials) from Sinaloa State, and officials from the Federal Government agency Conagua, as well as Rubicon’s Mexican partner Nortech.

Murray Irrigation PIIOP Principal Project Manager, Warren Jose, said the group showed great interest in local irrigation practices. “It was really beneficial for everyone involved,” Mr Jose said. “We spoke about everything from Murray Irrigation as a business, the region, what we produce locally and our irrigation practices, as well as our Private Irrigation Infrastructure Operators Program (PIIOP).

“When you put it into perspective, these people have travelled all the way from Mexico because they’re interested in what we do at Murray Irrigation. “It just goes to show the reputation both Murray Irrigation and our customers uphold,” he said. Sinaloa produces the majority of Mexico’s high-value tomatoes, peppers, and cucumbers.

Water is a key limiting factor for the development of Sinaloa’s agricultural sector, and recent struggles with drought threaten the state’s position as Mexico’s leading tomato producer. Practices that increase water-use efficiency and management are needed. “They currently have concrete lined channel systems and they don’t meter their water,” Mr Jose said. “They were very interested in how Murray Irrigation operates, controls and administers a regulated channel system. “The trip to Australia was predominately to help them move forward and irrigate more efficiently.

They wanted to gain a better understanding of management of irrigation districts in this country and to learn about some of the water reforms that have taken place here. “They were also interested in learning about how modernisation technology works and to see the modernised systems first hand. “It was about understanding the day-to-day business of operating a nationally significant commercial irrigation scheme.”

Mr Jose said Murray Irrigation’s presentation was well received and culminated in a constructive question and answers session. “It helped having a Spanish-speaking presenter in (Murray Irrigation Reconfigurations Project Engineer) Jorge Luengas,” he said. “Michael Pisasale (Murray Irrigation On-Farm Projects Supervisor) also helped the visitors better understand our operations, before Joe Gogarty (PIIOP Project Completions) accompanied the group out to Blighty for an inspection of some of our infrastructure.”

From Deniliquin, the tour moved on to the Coleambally irrigation district.