Roach's Reservoir taking shape

30 January 2023

Works on Roach’s enroute reservoir, near Yanco, commenced late last year, with the project set to benefit irrigators’ by complimenting the automation works already completed across the MIA.

MI General Manager Asset Delivery, Jody Rudd, said though works were slowed a little due to the wet weather in the later stages of 2022, construction on site had now increased, and the reservoir, which is set to hold 5,000ML, is starting to take shape.

Mr Rudd said there were several key reasons to establish the enroute reservoir in Yanco.

“The reservoir will enable us to be flexible, efficient and responsive to irrigators’ and town water needs,” he said.

“A reservoir of this size will support surges in demand through our integrated channel network, allowing us to provide additional surge capacity across the network, enabling higher flowrates to irrigators in peak events, as well as better matching to river ordering.

“Forecasting water orders, when it takes up to 7-days to get from the dams to the MIA is challenging and limits our ability to respond to demand fluctuations due to changes in climatic conditions, resulting in a frequent mismatch between the volume of water released and that taken at MI’s offtake.”

“Having this new reservoir will enable us to get the water take versus water order as close as possible and ensure less water is lost to the resource set within the Murrumbidgee Valley.”  

Mr Rudd said the Roach’s Reservoir Project will also leverage the investment by irrigators in technology to provide a further substantial increase to farm productivity, and increase yields, by reducing ordering and shutdown timeframes without impacting other levels of service or delivery efficiency.

“Investments that result in increased farm value without altering intermediate inputs result in net economic gains for the local economy,” he explained.

Roach’s Reservoir will also give irrigators’ much greater water security during winter works periods for crops such as citrus, and town water supply, as well as enable MI to supply “off the grid” in high demand periods such as targeted high flow environmental events along the Murrumbidgee.

Mr Rudd said the Yanco site was chosen because it sits high in the system, the soils were the right quality to build a reservoir on and it is in an area where MI can easily gravity feed water in and out of.

“We are looking to establish another large reservoir in the upper Sturt Canal and some other smaller ones at key points throughout the system, when the timing and funding is right,” he added.

Roach’s Reservoir is due for completion by the end of this year.

Funding for this project has been provided by the NSW Department of Planning and Environment and Federal Department of Climate Change, Energy, the Environment and Water. 

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