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Significant step towards automation achieved

Murray Irrigation continues to edge closer to automation with the completion of the regulator upgrade program as part of our $206 million modernisation journey.

The works are part of the company’s Private Irrigation Infrastructure Operators Program (PIIOP) Round 2 project which involves the upgrade of manual-operated irrigation infrastructure to remote control technology.

Executive Manager Major Engineering Projects Warren Jose said the upgrades provide customers with increased flow rates, greater ordering flexibility delivering opportunities for higher on-farm productivity.

More than 1,300 regulators have been upgraded as part of the program, which began in 2013. This includes 584 fully automated Rubicon regulators and 734 Murray Irrigation-designed Central Remote Controlled (CRC) regulators.

“The program involved upgrading manually operated channel regulating gates with automated gates,” Mr Jose said.

“The newly installed regulators control channel flows and maintain water levels in channel pools to ensure water can be supplied to our customers at the correct level.

“The completion of the regulator program is a huge milestone for the region and has given the company a greater level of control across the system.”

The regulator works complement the company’s outlet program, which is expected to be completed next month all of which will improve on-farm efficiency.

Murray Irrigation Chairman Bruce Simpson said the PIIOP Round 2 works have completely overhauled the way local farmers can access water.

“We have moved away from a manually operated system,” he said. “Our customers are now able to access a modern network that provides a faster and more efficient water delivery service.

“This will really set up our next generation of farmers.” With the regulator program now complete, Murray Irrigation’s highest priority has shifted to completing the PIIOP Round 2 outlet installation program.

The project team is on target to complete overall construction by October and commissioning is underway.

The Customer Operations team will now be working closely with our farmers as their outlets are being brought on-line. Murray Irrigation’s PIIOP Round 2 project has received approval for funding of $169.2 million from the Australian Government’s Private Irrigation Infrastructure Operators Program (PIIOP) in NSW.