The $14.4 million piping of the East Loddon irrigation system will save water, relieve stressed river systems and boost the local economy.
Regional and Rural Development Minister Jacinta Allan said the pipeline would replace the unreliable open system and provide more and higher quality water to local farmers, businesses, and better drinking water for local towns.
“Our Government is working with regional communities to drive new prosperity, jobs and opportunities in regional and rural Victoria,” Ms Allan said.
“Projects such as the East Loddon Pipeline have many benefits to regional and rural communities.
“It will save water – the equivalent of 628 Olympic-sized swimming pools each year.
“It will also improve water quality, keep farmers and local businesses sustainable, and relieve stressed river systems.”
Ms Allan said the $14.4 million project would receive $2.1 million in support from the Brumby Labor Government’s Regional Infrastructure Development Fund and would:
- Consist of 145 kilometres of pipeline;
- Save 1570 megalitres of water each year, the equivalent of 2.6 billion 600ml bottles of water or 628 Olympic-size swimming pools;
- Have 165 tapping points; and
- Stretch from the Waranga Western Channel in the north to Bridgewater on Loddon in the south.
Ms Allan said the channel system currently took 1900 megalitres a year from the Loddon and Goulburn systems to provide the 330 megalitres of water required to meet demand.
“Piping this leaky irrigation system will mean the system takes only what it needs – 330 megalitres a year – saving 1570 megalitres from leaving the Loddon and Goulburn waterways,” she said.
“Water savings in the Loddon System will also provide environment benefits to the Loddon River and Bullock Creek adding to the tourism potential of the region.”
Ms Allan said a pump station and winter balancing storage would also be built near the Waranga Western Channel, and the pipeline would have provision for a number of Country Fire Authority tapping points.
The balance of funding will include $800,000 from Goulburn-Murray Water, $9.1 million from the Northern Victorian Irrigation Renewal Project, and $2.4 million from Coliban Region Water Corporation.