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Modernisation Projects

Infrastructure Modernisation

Major infrastructure projects are continuing to renew ageing water delivery infrastructure and generate water savings to reduce the impacts of the Murray-Darling Basin Plan. 

These projects were identified in the development of a Modernisation Plan that we prepared in 2009 with funding from the Australian Government.

The Modernisation Plan considered a range of options available to us to respond to the challenges facing the irrigation industry, one of which included increasing the efficiency of the irrigation distribution system to drive regional development, investment and growth. 


The Private Irrigation Infrastructure Operators Program in New South Wales (PIIOP-NSW) aims to improve the efficiency and productivity of water use and management of private irrigation networks to deliver water savings for the environment.

Water entitlements resulting from water savings generated from eligible projects, both off and on-farm, will help to secure a sustainable future for irrigation communities.

PIIOP projects allow MI and our customers to reduce water losses and manage water allocations more efficiently.

The total investment by the Australian Government in critical water saving projects in the Murrumbidgee Irrigation Area is now almost $348 million.

PIIOP Round 1

Under Round 1 of PIIOP-NSW MI received funding of $50 million from the Australian Government to upgrade ageing water delivery infrastructure in Lake Wyangan in exchange for water savings. 

Manually operated regulators were replaced with automated regulating structures and gates to deliver a consistent flow rate, and Dethridge Wheels were replaced with more accurate electronic flow meters. Construction commenced in May 2013 and was completed in November 2014.

PIIOP Round 2

Under the Round 2 of PIIOP-NSW MI received $175.1 million in funding from the Australian Government to upgrade both off-farm and on-farm infrastructure in exchange for water savings. 
This funding supported integrated water infrastructure modernisation projects in:

  • Hanwood (completed 2015)
  • Bilbul, Leeton and Yenda (completed 2017)
  • Wah Wah stock and domestic district (completed 2018)

PIIOP Round 3

Under the Round 3 of PIIOP-NSW MI received $122.3 million in funding from the Australian Government to upgrade off-farm infrastructure in exchange for water savings. 

This project is expected to be completed by 2019 and involves: 
  • Channel lining with clay or ethylene propylene diene monomer (EPDM) rubber lining, including reforming earthen and concrete channels 
  • Channel automation, including automation of the Main Canal regulators (completed 2017), Sturt Canal (completed 2018) and unmetered escapes 
  • Replacing inefficient channel systems with gravity pipelines and pumped stock and domestic systems, and 
  • Replacing dethridge wheels with compliant meters.

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