$48.7 million water savings project to go ahead

A $48.7 million project in Wah Wah, New South Wales, that helps irrigators save water will go ahead after it was approved by Murrumbidgee Irrigation (MI).

The Wah Wah Stock and Domestic Pipeline Project forms part of the $149.6 million in funding MI received under round two of the Australian Government’s Private Irrigation Infrastructure Operators Program (PIlOP2) in New South Wales.

Project works will include the construction of new pumping stations, a 280km Gunbar Water Pipeline and 14 private pipelines.

MI CEO Brett Jones explained that the project will supply pressurised piped water to 62 properties in the Wah Wah district, which covers 310,000 hectares from Carrathool to Hay in the south, and from Gunbar to Booligal in the north.

Mr Jones said, “The current supply system is inefficient with water conveyed from Barren Box Storage along the Wah Wah main channel and into 1,590km of earth channels, to fill more than 600 in-ground tanks on the properties.

“Current losses from evaporation, seepage and unauthorised access are very high, resulting in a distribution efficiency of less than 22 per cent.”

Wah Wah customers will benefit through improved levels of service, with year round access to the river and bores, pressurised water supply and measured water use, which can be remotely monitored.

Mr Jones said the project would not only benefit Wah Wah customers, as all customers would receive operating and maintenance savings, lower future refurbishment costs and conveyance water savings, once the project was complete.

“Our customers want value, and this project will enable us to deliver water to them through a more efficient and responsive irrigation network,” Mr Jones said.

“To grow as a company we need to continue to increase efficiency and eliminate waste.”

The project is due to be completed by September 2018.

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