Works are set to kick off on the final stage of the Swan Hill Modernisation Project in coming weeks.
The $2 billion Goulburn-Murray Water Connections Project recently announced Rochester firm Ward Bros Earthmoving as the company which will carry out the final stages of the SHMP’s works.
These works will include constructing a southern pump station and 4.59km pipeline and a northern pump station and 3.54km pipeline to create more efficient and effective delivery of water to the region’s irrigators.
The pipeline will have a capacity of 22 megalitres per day and will closely follow the existing channel.
About 10km of the No. 9 channel will also be decommissioned from Werril St in the south to Karinie St in the north. The Project is working closely with other agencies to determine an appropriate future use for the space which will be created through the channel decommissioning.
The Swan Hill Modernisation Project has been running since 2012 and involves the successful completion of upgrades to Fish Point Weir, lowering of Little Murray Weir and the installation of fish passages.
Works have also been completed to convert the No. 9 offtake to a pump station, upgrade the No. 10 pump station and construct an interconnector pipeline to transfer water from the Murray River to the No.9 Channel.
The upgrades are expected to be complete with the new systems operational for the start of the 2018-2019 irrigation season.
Swan Hill Modernisation Project Manager Kendall Atkinson said carrying out works in the irrigation off-season will minimise any impact on landowners.
“The No 9 channel has become less fit-for-purpose with changing landowner needs, and experiences significant water losses through leakage and seepage,” he said.
“Replacing the channel with a modernised, automated pipeline will help deliver water more efficiently to landowners in the Swan Hill Rural City region.
“As we carry out the works, there may be changed traffic conditions on some roads and areas in coming months. We’ll ensure we keep community members informed as work progresses and we ask for people to be patient as project works begin.”
Connections Project Director Frank Fisseler said the works will improve service levels and replace ageing, inefficient irrigation infrastructure.
“I would like to thank Swan Hill Rural City Council for their great collaboration to make this project happen and get the best outcome for the Swan Hill region and the environment,’’ Mr Fisseler said.
“These works will create about one gigalitre of water savings per year, contributing to Victoria’s commitment to delivering water under the Murray-Darling Basin Plan.”
Ward Bros Earthmoving Partner Peter Ward said it is great to be able to continue working with the Connections Project to deliver irrigation upgrades under the Swan Hill Modernisation Project.
“Ward Bros has been working on the Connections Project since it began – it’s been great for us because we’ve been able to continue to employ local people and that means we can support the local community and businesses,” he said.
“We’re proud to be part of such a historic project which is such an important upgrade for the long-term future of the region’s farms.”
The Goulburn-Murray Water Connections Project is funded by the Federal and State governments and will create a sustainable modernised delivery network which will deliver water more efficiently to landowners in the Goulburn-Murray Irrigation District.