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Busy 2024 in the Werribee Irrigation District

28 February 2024 | News
28 February 2024

It promises to be a busy 2024 in the Werribee Irrigation District, with Stage 5 modernisation works and meetings of the Werribee System Reconfiguration Customer Reference Group to start soon. 

Stage 5 modernisation works will be delivered approximately the same time as customer engagement gets underway on the Werribee System Reconfiguration Project. 

Modernisation works and the Werribee System Reconfiguration project both aim to secure the future of farming in the Werribee Irrigation District. 

The Werribee System Reconfiguration Project was identified as a key project outcome of the Central and Gippsland Region Sustainable Water Strategy and is looking at opportunities:  

  • to improve the reliability, security and quality of irrigation water supplies in the Werribee catchment 
  • relieve the stressed Werribee River system by returning water to the environment and Traditional Owners; and  
  • boost urban water supply to accommodate population growth. 

The Werribee System Reconfiguration Project will produce a business case that examines the costs and benefits of delivering a more reliable, better quality water supply to the Werribee Irrigation District.  

Stakeholder engagement will be undertaken by partners on different aspects of the project, with Southern Rural Water responsible for leading the engagement with its customers to assess options for lasting improvements to the reliability, security and quality of irrigation water supply in the district.  

Partners in the Werribee System Reconfiguration Project include the Department of Energy, Environment and Climate Action, Melbourne Water, Southern Rural Water and Greater Western Water.  

For customer engagement, Southern Rural Water has established a customer reference group, consisting of primary producers and entitlement holders. The group will hold its first meeting in March 2024, and meet a total of six times, with feedback from the group helping to inform both the Werribee System Reconfiguration Project preliminary business case in 2024 and the final business case, due in 2026. 

For more information on Southern Rural Water’s involvement in the Werribee System Reconfiguration Project, check out our dedicated project page here. The page will be updated regularly throughout 2024. 


Werribee Irrigation District Modernisation – Stage 5  

Southern Rural Water will be delivering Stage 5 of the Werribee Irrigation District Modernisation Project, which includes construction of 8.3 kilometres of new pipeline, 47 automated outlets, and a new regulator. 

We are continuing the work started in Stage 4, and together with our delivery partners and the goodwill of our customers, are completing the fifth and final stage of the Werribee Irrigation District modernisation, concluding a journey that started in 2016. 

Stage 5 benefits: 

  • A key benefit is food security. Installing a fully automated, piped irrigation system will enable growers to produce food more efficiently, help secure their farming futures, and ensure growers can continue to supply Victorians with healthy and nutritious food. 
  • Service to customers will be improved. Automation of customer outlets means irrigation water can be delivered to customers 24 hours per day, seven days per week. There will be no more requirements for Southern Rural Water to manually turn outlets on and off – this will now happen automatically.  
  • There will be fewer delays. An automated system means the end of meter reads. Water allocations and compliance decisions can now be made in real time, saving time and resources.  
  • A fully piped system will improve public safety, as pipelines will replace fenced off channels in residential areas north of the Princes Highway. 

Stage 5 works are expected to start in late autumn and be delivered by our construction partner, Jaydo Construction. 

Stage 5 of the Werribee Irrigation District is jointly funded by Southern Rural Water, the Australian Government through the National Water Grid Fund and the Victorian Government.