What does upgrading the MID mean?
Southern Rural Water is modernising the high-value Macalister Irrigation District through a combination of pipelining, channel automation, and outlet and regulator upgrades. More than $97m in works has already been completed during Phase 1A ($32m) and Phase 1B ($65m). Combined, these two phases improve availability and service for customers and provide an estimated 22 gigalitres (22,000 megalitres) of water savings to be made available for irrigation use in the region. Phase 1A was completed in August 2017, and Phase 1B was completed in September 2020.
The $62.7m Phase 2 projects began in September 2020 and will be completed over a four-year period to 2024, bringing a further estimated 10.3 gigalitres (10,300 megalitres) worth of water savings.
The overall $159.7m MID2030 modernisation program was broken into phases to focus on work that brings the greatest value in water savings and service improvements. The phases have included sub-projects to deliver:
- automation of channel regulating structures in three zones in Phase 1A
- constructing a balancing storage at Denison to improve efficiency of the gravity-fed system in Phase 1A
- priority outlet upgrades and rationalisation to optimise efficiencies
- pipelining and channel automation of the Southern Tinamba supply zone (Tinamba, Mewburn Park, Riverslea) in Phase 1B
- upgrading and desilting channels
- upgrading the Newry River channel supply with pipeline and channel upgrades in Phase 2
- West Boisdale, Nuntin and Stratford supply upgrades
- strategically placing automated regulators to help improve and manage flow across the whole system.
Benefits of the program on completion include:
- modernised systems across all 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, reducing farm run-off and drain outfall, which reduces nutrients flowing 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