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MID 2030


Background

The Macalister Irrigation District is the largest irrigation district in southern Victoria. The district has secure water supplies supplemented by good rainfall, productive soils, a strong dairy sector and developing vegetable and cropping industries. Estimates put annual economic contribution in excess of $500M per year.

Further investment was needed to enable customers to implement best-practice water use and improve farm productivity.

Southern Rural Water is modernising the district through a combination of pipelining, channel automation and regulator upgrades. More than $92M in works are being completed during Phase 1A ($32M) and Phase 1B ($60M). Combined, these two phases will improve availability and service for customers and provide 22,000 Megalitres (22 Gigalitres) of water savings to be made available for irrigation use within the district.

The overall MID2030 modernisation program has been broken into Phases to focus on work which brings the greatest value in water savings and service improvements. The first two Phases together prioritised:

  •  further automation of channel regulating structures in three zones
  •  constructing a balancing storage
  •  some outlet modernisation and rationalization
  • pipelining and channel automation of one full supply zone

Benefits of the projects include:

  •  modernised systems for three supply zones
  •  reduced times between orders and delivery in modernised areas along with less shifting of orders
  •  on-farm benefits for modernised outlets including more consistent flow rates and higher flow rates
  • more efficient irrigation practices reduce farm run-off and drain outfall, which reduces nutrients heading down to the Gippsland Lakes
  • better asset conditions, investing in the district and supporting future food production
  • improved safety by removing manual handling of regulator drop bars

Phase 1A

Southern Rural Water is modernising the district through a combination of pipelining, channel automation and regulator upgrades. More than $92M in works are being completed during Phase 1A ($32M) and Phase 1B ($60M). Combined, these two phases will improve availability and service for customers and provide 22,000 Megalitres (22 Gigalitres) of water savings to be made available for irrigation use within the district.

In May 2013, the Victorian Government announced it was providing $16M towards the modernisation of the MID, with a co-contribution of $16M from MID customers for the $32M Phase 1A project. The works, which began in 2013 and will be completed in June 2017, include:

  •  upgrade of regulators in the Nambrok-Denison supply system, most of the channels in the Eastern system and all of the Heyfield channels
  •  construction of the Willang Yarn balancing storage in Denison;
  •  further expansion of the outlet rationalisation and modernisation program
  •  detailed design of the $60M Southern Tinamba pipeline for funding in Phase 1B

Taken together, the works in Phase 1A have saved around 12,000 ML. We expect that most of this water will be offered to customers by distribution in proportion to their entitlement. Some water will be offered for sale via auction and/or a shelf price.

Some of the other benefits include:

  •  modernised systems for three supply zones
  •  reduced times between orders and delivery in modernised areas along with less shifting of orders
  •  on-farm benefits for modernised outlets including more consistent flow rates and higher flow rates
  • more efficient irrigation practices reduce farm run-off and drain outfall, which reduces nutrients heading down to the Gippsland Lakes
  • better asset conditions, investing in the district and supporting future food production
  • improved safety by removing manual handling of regulator drop bars

Phase 1B

Phase 1B

The $60M MID 2030 Modernisation Phase 1B program involves an upgrade of the Southern Tinamba Supply Zone, comprising replacement of the upper channel system with a gravity pipeline, coupled with the automation and modernisation of the lower channel system. Approximately 39km of pipeline will be installed and 32km of existing channels will be upgraded and automated.  The detailed pipeline design work was done as part of the Phase 1A project.

The project is jointly funded with $20M invested by MID customers, $20M by the Victorian Government and $20M by the Federal Government.

When complete, Phase 1B will:

  • save an additional 9,700 ML of water to go back into the Macalister Irrigation District
  • enable more efficient on-farm irrigation, which further improves productivity across the district
  • reduce outfall to the drain systems, which will also mean fewer nutrients entering waterways and the Gippsland Lakes.

Tenders for materials and works have been called (Feb-Mar 2017) for Stage 1 to begin May 2017.  The Phase 1B pipeline program will be delivered in four stages. Stage 1 will be delivered May-Aug 2017, Stage 2 May-Aug 2018, Stage 3 May-Aug 2019 and Stage 4 May-Aug 2020. Customers within the areas of Stages 2-4 will be contacted 12 months before each stage works commence.

2014_Southern-Tinamba_Pipeline_Design

 


MID Supply Zones

For the purpose of MID 2030 the MID has been split into five zones that align with the natural boundaries. The soil permeability profile varies significantly between each of the zones.

The following table and map shows the zone and highlights its colour code:

2014_MID_Supply_System

2014__1_MID_Supply_System_Zone_Descriptions


Willang Yarn Balancing Storage

Background

The $6M Willang Yarn balancing storage, near Denison, is a key component of the MID2030 irrigation modernisation program, which is upgrading systems to secure more efficient use of water throughout the district and more flexibility for customers.  The storage is Southern Rural Water’s largest single capital project to date and a significant milestone in the $32M Macalister Irrigation District 2030 Phase 1A modernisation. The Phase 1a associated works will be complete by June 2017 and bring 12 gigalitres (12,000 megalitres) worth of water savings.

Before the balancing storage construction, the Main Southern Channel did not allow for full channel automation to be implemented, due to legacy issues associated with the long distance from Lake Glenmaggie and Thomson River and the lack of control on the Cowwarr channel. The Eastern Irrigation Business identified the storage as a high priority to better service customers in the western part of the MID.

During construction, SRW asked Gunaikurnai Land and Waters Aboriginal Corporation (GLaWAC) to suggest a name for the storage. Willang Yarn means “rain water” and representatives from GLaWAC participated in the launch, providing a Welcome to Country and conducting a Smoking Ceremony.

Some key facts about Willang Yarn:

  • Footprint of 8.5 hectares
  • Total volume of 186 megalitres (160 megalitres usable)
  • Water can be sourced from from Lake Glenmaggie and the Thomson Dam or river
  • Entirely gravity-fed: no electricity or pumps
  • 1.8 metres usable head in the storage
  • One of Rubicon’s most complex integration projects to date: 96 scenarios have been programmed and tested
Willang Yarn balancing storage

Willang Yarn balancing storage


Southern-Cowwarr Regulator Retrofit Program

Background

Under the Southern-Cowwarr Regulator Retrofit Program Southern Rural Water plans to modernise approximately 179 regulators in Zone 4 (Nambrok-Denison) of the MID. The works will be completed over the 2014 and 2015 winter maintenance periods.

The total capital cost of the proposed project is estimated at $11.2m. In return, the project is expected to produce water savings of 4,075ML as well as improved levels of customer service.

2014_Southern-Cowwarr__Eastern_Regulator_Retrofit_Program


Eastern Regulator Retrofit Program

Background

Under the Eastern Regulator Retrofit Program, SRW plans to modernise approximately 107 regulators in Zone 5 (Eastern) of the MID. The works will be completed over the 2014 and 2015 winter maintenance periods.

The total capital cost of the proposed project is estimated at $6.05m. In return, the project is expected to produce water savings of 3,875ML as well as improved levels of customer service.

2014_Southern-Cowwarr__Eastern_Regulator_Retrofit_Program (1)


Past projects - MID 2030 Leading Works Program

Background

The Leading Works Program was a $5m investment in the modernisation of the MID, consisting of the following projects:

  • Nambrok-Denison Stage 1 and 2 Regulator Retrofit Programs
  • Eastern Stage 1 and 2 Regulator Retrofit Programs
  • Stage 1 and 2 of the Outlet Rationalisation Program
  • Heyfield Regulator Retrofit Program
  • Design and construction of the Southern-Cowwarr Balancing Storage
  • Southern-Tinamba Outlet Rationalisation Investigation
  • Southern-Tinamba Prototype Outlet Investigation

Projects

Stage 1 of the Nambrok-Denison, Eastern and Heyfield Regulator Retrofit Programs involved converting part of the channel system to channel automation by way of modernising the regulators and cleaning the channels in these supply zones.

The following table exhibits the outfall performance of the Heyfield supply zone after channel automation.

2014_Past_Projects_-_Leading_Works_Program


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