PIIOP Round 2
A funding agreement between our company and the Australian Government was signed in 2012 for the modernisation of the water delivery system
The PIIOP was an asset renewal project which involved upgrading ageing infrastructure across our entire footprint to benefit our customers by improving our water delivery service. Our focus was on providing our customers with infrastructure that would last into the future and support increased need for efficiency, innovation and resilience.
Extensive planning and consultation with customers was undertaken after the funding agreement between our company and the Australian Government was signed in 2012. In 2013, works began to upgrade network regulators and farm outlets with automated and/or remote-controlled technology.
Customers now have improved water efficiency, ordering flexibility and the opportunity for higher on-farm productivity.
The PIIOP Round 2 project received $169.2 million in funding from the Australian Government.
Improving service at Murray Irrigation
PIIOP future focus
The outlet program involved the upgrade of more than 2,200 farm outlets with modern and efficient Rubicon FlumeGate™ and SlipMeter™ outlets. These outlets offer a greater ability to examine and control water flows. These are across the operational footprint and can be an on-farm outlet or larger outlets that feed to smaller channels. The outlets feature telemetry-enabled systems that allow us to control them remotely. For our farmers and landholders, this means that they can place more water orders per day with less notice, giving them a greater flexibility in their farming practices.
The FlumeGate™ automatically controls the flow of water by varying the gate position.
The SlipMeter™ accurately measures flows even in turbulent conditions, recording the total volume of water passed and the precise amount of water used.
The regulator program upgraded concrete infrastructure along the channel system with Rubicon regulators or refurbished existing AWMA regulators. These sites speak to our network of communications towers, known as nodes. This enables us to remotely control them and change water flows and levels throughout the footprint from the office.
The regulator program was completed in September 2017 and comprised 1,404 sites.
The reconfigurations program kept customers connected to our channel system but altered their supply point and reduced the length of channels.
Reconfiguration project assessments were based on merit and to date:
88 projects have been completed
2,012ML in water savings has been achieved (exceeding the target of 1,800ML)
144km of footprint has been reduced
199 outlets have been decommissioned
103 regulators have been decommissioned.
This project brought the High Level of Service option to our farmers. It enabled customer consultation throughout the whole project and sought to prove a number of plans and targets we had as a company.
The biggest impact is on improving the customers’ on-farm operations. Initially, the aim was to expand HLOS over our footprint, but was readjusted to SLOS as most of our farmers do not need four water order changes per day.
The sub-system retirement project was the strategic voluntary retirement of landholdings from our area of operations by disconnecting them from the system.
Funding is being provided to enable these landholders to convert to dryland farming and to assist with the installation of an alternate stock and domestic water supply.
Under the project, landholders transferred their water entitlements to the Commonwealth and terminated their delivery entitlements and associated shares in our company. In total, 29 of 30 landholdings participated in this project.
The PIIOP project is really about higher flows for us. We wanted to be able to command more water when we're irrigating. We were really happy with the whole process, from consultation to installation it was all pretty smooth, there were no issues at all. We are certainly looking forward to the benefits of remote control.
The PIIOP project was about higher flows for me but also about achieving less head loss. We have a command problem on areas of this property. The FlumeGate has definitely helped with less head loss through the outlet allowing us to cover the higher ground faster. The new system is a lot more flexible.
The PIIOP project has pretty much doubled our irrigation capacity. The new FlumeGate outlets allow us to water a lot quicker. It not only means we can get more water onto the property, we're also able to water a larger area. The extra capacity also means we have the ability to water later and finish earlier. I am looking forward to the benefits the new system will bring.