Connections pushes forward to completion following successful 2019

David Lee

After a huge 2019, the Connections Project is on-track for successful completion in October this year.

In 2019, the Project installed nearly 100km of pipeline, decommissioned more than 250km of channel, installed more than 40 regulators, remediated about 2km of channel and installed more than 700 meters.

This has increased the audited water savings total to 378.1GL/year.

Connections Project Director Frank Fisseler said the Project team was now focussing on the remaining channel decommissioning, pipeline installation and individual on-farm works packages across the Goulburn-Murray Irrigation District (GMID).

“During 2019, the Project worked with 1459 landowners to efficiently connect them to the upgraded irrigation network,” Mr Fisseler said.

“The concluding modernisation works will now take place during 2020 across the GMID, which includes the Project’s final Winter Works program.

“Without the collaboration with farmers and irrigators we couldn’t have had such a successful 2019 and we would like to thank them greatly for their support.

“The Project’s successful reset in 2016 put it back on-track for completion on-time and on-budget.

“Our reset delivery team has worked hard to improve communication with landowners, putting clear processes in place that make sure they’re informed every step of the way.

“Decisions are governed by two key priorities; water savings targets and appropriate value for money of infrastructure solutions, which means water savings must be affordable.

“Once completed, the Project would have reduced or modernised almost the entire GMID irrigation system. Goulburn-Murray Water will always continue to identify and implement system efficiencies.”

The $2 billion Victorian and Australian Government investment is continuing to convert the GMID from an ageing, leaking inefficient system to a modern delivery network. Now more than 90 per cent complete, the Project is on target to achieve its key objective of a total of 429GL/year water savings. 

The $2 billion Connections Project is Australia’s largest irrigation modernisation project and is funded by the Australian and Victorian governments.

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