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Lake Wyangan Modernisation

$50 million Lake Wyangan Modernisation Project complete  

The multi-million dollar Lake Wyangan Modernisation Project, which provides a modern and efficient water delivery system to around 200 landholdings in the Lake Wyangan area, has been completed in December 2014.

Funding of $50 million under Round 1 of the Australian Government’s Private Irrigation Infrastructure Operators Program (PIIOP1) has been used to refurbish and upgrade ageing infrastructure in the Lake Wyangan area.

Managing Director, Peter Borrows, said that the MIA Renewal Alliance MIARA (made up of Murrumbidgee Irrigation (MI), GHD, John Holland and UGL) has been responsible for the construction of this modernisation project. "MI chose an alliance model to ensure that we had blend of technical and project governance skills to deliver our ambitious modernisation program under a tight schedule," Mr Borrows said.

The MIA Renewal Alliance commenced construction in June last year with the project aimed at improving the way water is delivered to irrigators in the region. "Over the past 12 months, the MIA Renewal Alliance widened the Lake View Branch Canal to increase its capacity from 220 to 275 megalitres of water a day, replacing the old concrete lined channel," Mr Borrows said. "Works included rebuilding almost 16 kilometres of irrigation channel, extending its life by about 80 years, and the replacement of 13.7 kilometres of open channels with gravity pipelines, extending their life by 60 years." All regulators along the Lake View Branch Canal have been placed into automatic Channel Control mode.

This is a significant milestone in MI’s history and is the culmination of years of work by numerous people, particularly in this winter maintenance works period and from the start of this year’s irrigation season. "Automation of the system will enable increased reaction times compared with manual operation, improving the reliability and efficiency of the system, particularly during any periods of water supply restriction," Mr Borrows said.

The funding agreement required some water savings to be transferred to the Australian Government for environmental watering. "Investment in schemes such as the Australian Government’s Private Irrigation Infrastructure Operators Program (PIIOP) is a sensible and strategic way to recover water for the environment and the MIA while providing a means to increase the efficiency of the irrigation network," Mr Borrows said.

 "The program is also an effective means of driving regional development, investment and growth." MI received further funding for up to $149.9 million from the Australian Government for another six integrated water infrastructure projects under Round 2 of the Private Irrigation Infrastructure Operators Program in NSW (PIIOP2). These projects are being progressively planned and delivered across parts of the MIA over the next five years. 

Characteristics of the Lake Wyangan modernisation project area

 Project Lake Wyangan
 Size 25,662ha
 Customers 177
 Delivery Entitlements 40,494
 Existing Infrastructure  
 - earh channels 23.5km
 - lined channels 35.4km
 - pipelines 13.5km
 Farm / crop types  Citrus, stone fruit, almonds, grapes, vegetables, rice


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