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Bacchus Marsh Irrigation District Modernisation

The Bacchus Marsh Irrigation District modernisation project involves the reconfiguration of the irrigation network that supplies Bacchus Marsh growers to remove an ageing and inefficient main channel.

The project has involved the replacement of manual and inefficient channel-based irrigation networks with modern, automated pipelines and other infrastructure. It increases irrigation supply reliability and farmer viability in the face of an increasingly drier climate. 

Bacchus Marsh Irrigation District modernisation works were undertaken in five stages, starting in December 2017 and finishing August 2023.

Stage 1 involved the construction of a new pump station at Maddingley.

Stages 2A, 2B and Stage 3 included construction of 6.4km of pipeline, automation of four outlets and decommissioning of 1km of pipeline.

Stage 4 involved construction of 2.75km of pipeline and automation of a further three outlets. In partnership with Moorabool Shire Council, this project supported an 4.5 kilometre aqualink cycling and walking corridor connecting the Lerderderg River and Werribee River corridors.

Stage 5 is the replacement of the supply system. Piping the spur 12 channel will improve reliability of supply and reduce evaporation, generate an additional 100 ML in annual water saving, improve water efficiency and service to customers via more accurate and timely delivery of irrigation water.

Stages 1 to 4 generated 1,380 ML in water savings, above the target of 1,000 ML, with 50 percent going to the environment and 50 percent returned to irrigators.

The modernisation is jointly funded by Southern Rural Water, the Commonwealth Government through the National Water Grid Fund and the Victorian Government.