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Murray Irrigation received $162 million from the Australian Government to commission a modernisation program that will transition the irrigation system from manual to predominantly automatic.

The not-for-profit company’s Private Irrigation Infrastructure Operators Program (PIIOP) spans its entire footprint and involves the upgrade of more than 3,400 structures comprising 2,100 outlets and 1,300 regulators.

The project received funding as part of the Australian Government’s commitment to the PIIOP series of initiatives.

Murray Irrigation is Australia’s largest privately-owned irrigation company and its network of about 3,000km of gravity-fed earthen supply channels covering an area of 748,000 hectares is as critical to the environment as it is to its customers.

The modernisation works began in 2013 and when finished they will lead to an improved water delivery service for the company’s irrigators.

Executive General Manager Water Delivery, Scott Barlow, said he is excited for the transition “because it means Murray Irrigation will finally be enabled to implement new service levels in all its 30 operational areas.

“A number of operational areas have been functioning via remote control or automation for some time. However, being able to run our entire system remotely allows us to provide our customers with greater ordering flexibility that will ensure they receive their water orders on time and in full,” Mr Barlow said.

“The operational implementation of our modernised system will also include other changes for our customers, including the way they interact with us, through to scheduling their water deliveries. Patience, customer support and our ability to respond effectively and efficiently as well as our testing and handover procedures will be key to a smooth transition.”

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