MIA primed for a big season ahead

6 September 2022 

Murrumbidgee Irrigation’s 2022 winter works program is now complete and all signs are pointing towards another big season for MIA irrigators’ growing food and fibre for the nation.

The 2022 winter works program included the automation of 140 outlets and 80 regulators in Murrami and Yenda, as well as the lining of 4 kilometres of channels, as part of Murrumbidgee Irrigation’s (MI’s) ongoing Automation Project.

MI CEO, Brett Jones, said Murrumbidgee Irrigation Area (MIA) irrigators are now realising the benefits of an automated network.

“The automation works over winter were another significant step taken towards a modern and reliable water supply for the MIA,” said MI CEO Brett Jones.

Mr Jones said he was again looking forward to seeing what this season would bring for the nation’s food bowl, the MIA.

“The past two seasons have been good ones for many irrigators’ and coming into the new water season there is the anticipation that 2022/23 will be another big year,” he said.

“The diversity and quality of the produce from our region, including winter and summer cereals, nuts, fodder, aquaculture, wine grapes, rice, citrus and cotton, is testament to the value of irrigation to not only NSW, but our national economy.”

MI General Manager Asset Delivery, Jody Rudd, said that the works completed over winter mean that around 85% percent of the system is now automated.

“While we didn’t get the volume of work done which we would have liked to this winter due to rain events, we got the critical works done,” he explained.

“This means some works, such as outlet installations, will continue in season when we can, with a focus on minimising any impacts to supply.”

Construction on the new 5,000 ML Roach’s Surge Reservoir near Yanco, will also commence this month.

“Strategically located surge reservoirs in conjunction with the move to full automation will enable us to further improve our water delivery flexibility for irrigators, who are requesting higher flow rates, the ability to start and close at short notice and 24-hour access to these services,” Mr Rudd explained.

“This will reduce ordering times to ensure that crops receive water precisely when required. It will also decrease shut off notification times by pushing excess water into the reservoirs, resulting in a reduction in crop water logging, significant increases in yield, and minimal in system water losses.”

Roach’s Surge Reservoir is set to be ready for use in late 2023, while the full MIA Automation program of works will be delivered by June 2024.

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