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Murray Irrigation seeks to maximise water savings

Murray Irrigation has secured funding from the Australian Government to develop and deliver projects that will improve network efficiencies, reduce losses and keep more water for production.

Funding available under Round 3 of the Private Irrigation Infrastructure Operators Program (PIIOP) in NSW will enable Murray Irrigation to investigate the final stages needed to optimise the irrigation system and rollout projects that show real efficiencies.

Murray Irrigation Chairman, Mark Robertson, said the funding will allow Murray Irrigation to complete the upgrade of its entire system to ensure a high quality service can be consistently delivered to customers to meet their on-farm needs. “This funding will assist us to re-shape Murray Irrigation’s supply system and create a more holistic system, giving irrigators greater control over the delivery of their water at the farm-gate, helping them increase efficiency and productivity without reducing their water entitlements.”

Murray Irrigation Chief Executive Officer, Michael Renehan said the Company had entered into an agreement to design projects that build on the works and upgrades currently being rolled out under PIIOP Round 2 and to comprehensively evaluate savings prior to proceeding with implementation. “The savings gained will ultimately lead to a net increase of water available for productive use within the region, while also reaching the objectives of the Commonwealth,” Mr Renehan said.

“We have negotiated a better process of undertaking these projects with Commonwealth funding. We need to see real water savings before we proceed. If our initial design shows no savings at each sub-project, then there will be no sub-project.”

The sub projects have been identified to increase and improve the efficiency of the Murray Irrigation system, with water savings realised in the region. “We are focussed on enhancing the entire system through a number of initiatives, including upgrading the Mulwala Canal infrastructure, channel lining, further reconfigurations and considering opportunities for both stock & domestic and sub-system retirements,” Mr Renehan said. Mr Robertson said system optimisation provided a great opportunity for irrigators to adopt more efficient irrigation and farming practices, delivering significantly greater productivity and diversification in cropping, and would also support a more innovative and competitive irrigation industry.

“Our goal is to provide the level of service our customers want to meet their on-farm needs while increasing our system efficiency,” Mr Robertson said. “PIIOP Round 3 will complete our modernisation journey and ensure that Murray Irrigation has a cost-effective irrigation network and more secure water to underpin our footprint.”

Mr Renehan concluded. Australian Government funding of $153,324,868 was secured for the project through the Private Irrigation Infrastructure Operators Program (PIIOP) in NSW. The total project cost is $159,214,660 with Murray Irrigation committing the remaining $5,889,791.

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