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Werribee Irrigation District

Electrical Conductivity (salinity) Werribee River

Electrical conductivity (ec) is measured in microsiemens per centimeter (µS/cm)

  • History

    Settlement of the Werribee Basin quickly followed the arrival of John Batman in 1835. By 1837 squatters had reached the Bacchus Marsh area and by 1840 most of the plains and foothills within the river basin were occupied.

    The Werribee Irrigation Trust was formed in November 1888 following demands for alternative water supplies to avoid the consequences of severe droughts. It was to provide irrigation facilities for 595 hectares of land north of the Melbourne-Geelong railway line, adjacent to the township of Werribee. The Trust operated for only a few years before it failed financially. It was eventually abolished under the provisions of the Water Act of 1905.

    In March 1906, the State Government’s Land Purchase and Management Board purchased 9,400 ha of the “Werribee Estate” to develop as an irrigation area and subdivide for closer settlement. Of this, 3,400 ha were later assessed as suitable for irrigation.

    The Pykes Creek Reservoir, which was the initial storage for both the Werribee Irrigation District and the irrigation system upstream at Bacchus Marsh, was completed in 1911. The diversion weir on the Werribee River and the main channel of the irrigation district were completed in 1912 and a system of channels was constructed to supply water for domestic and stock purposes to non-irrigated areas within the old estate and for irrigation of around 265 hectares of land.

    By 1914 the area of land that could be irrigated had been increased to 2,185 hectares. In 1916, Melton Reservoir was completed. Following this and the completion of other works, the Werribee Irrigation and Water Supply District was formed in October 1917 under the control of the State Rivers and Water Supply Commission.

    Construction of a surface drainage system began in 1920 for areas with poor sub-soils. The drainage system has since been extended and now serves nearly all the irrigation district and some land outside of it.

    The final stage in the Werribee Basin storage system was put in place with the construction of Merrimu Reservoir in 1969-1986.

  • Operations

    The WID now receives its irrigation supply from the combination of three storages at Pykes Creek, Merrimu Reservoir and Melton Reservoir. These storages now hold water from both the Werribee and Lerderderg River systems.

    Following several years of extreme drought conditions, the WID Recycled Water Scheme was implemented in 2004 to supplement water supply.

    Although a great deal of pipe-lining has been carried out as a result of urban development and the replacement of channels, much of the district remains open channel, including significant lengths of the main channel from the Werribee River.

    Like Bacchus Marsh and the Macalister Irrigation District in Gippsland, Werribee is a gravity irrigation district and relies on upstream heads of water to move supply through the channels and pipes to the customer.

    Water is ordered by customers through Southern Rural Water’s Waterline ordering system and delivered by our Water Services Officers through a complex series of checks, regulators and valves. This brings the water to the “farm gate”, where it is measured by a Dethridge wheel on open channels or a standard flow meter on pipelines. From here it is directed by the customer, usually into storage dams and then into on-farm irrigation systems.

    Prices for water in the Werribee Irrigation District are determined by the Essential Services Commission following recommendation by the Southern Rural Water Board. This recommendation is made following consultation with the Werribee Bacchus Marsh Customer Consultative Committee, which is made up of customers from within the district.

  • How to order water

    Irrigation water can be ordered over the phone or online using Waterline, SRW’s Water Order System.
    Customers must have a valid user number and password to access these services.

    Water orders must be placed three days in advance, to allow for orders to be planned and delivered efficiently. Customers under the Demand Management System (DMS) in the MID can place orders with shorter notice.

    What is Waterline?
    Waterline is our Water Ordering System for customers.

    Through Waterline, customers are able to:

    • Place irrigation orders.
    • Enter meter readings (online only)
    • Communicate with planners.
    • Access water usage details.


    Ordering water online
    Go to and follow the instructions below:

    1. Type in your User Number and password
    2. Select your required option from the Orders main menu drop down list
    3. Enter in the details as required
    4. When placing repeating orders, only one panel of duration and flow rate needs to be filled in as data is contained in each repeat
    5. Before lodging your order, make sure that dates and times are correct
    6. You may move between the various pages by selecting from the main menu, or use the back and forward arrow buttons on your browser.

    When you have finished lodging your order or completed your enquiries, select log off from the top right of the screen.


    Ordering water by phone
    Waterline can be accessed by dialling 1300 360 117.

    • Key in your User Number then press “#”
    • Key in your password then press “#”
    • Select from the following functions:

    1# To place a regular order
    2# To find out start times
    3# To speak to a planner
    4# To leave a message for a planner
    5# To use special functions (change password; enter special orders; find out entitlement details)
    6# To change lodged DMS orders (cancel; change start/finish or flow rate; emergency stop)
    9# To speak to an operator
    0# To end the call.

  • Mobile online water statement

    Online water statement – now available by mobile platform

    To access Waterline, you must have a valid user number and password. If you don’t have a user number and password, please contact Southern Rural Water on 1300 139 510.

    Waterline is now available from a mobile platform which allows access to popular online information including entitlement information, meter reading entry and access to online water ordering all from your smartphone.

    Water Statements provide you with up-to-date information about your current available entitlements and usage details. They are available from SRW’s Waterline

    To access your personal report via the internet:

    • go to
    • enter your User & password details
    • select “Usage” from the top menu.
    • select “Allocation”. Your services will then appear on the screen.
    • in the “View Statement” fbox click on the PDF icon
    • select open to view the statement.

    To access your personal report via the mobile app:

    • go to or google SRW Waterline and click on the link from your phone
    • enter your User & password details
    • select “Allocation”. Your services will then appear on the screen
    • select the arrow next to the one you wish to view
    • select how you wish to view your account e.g PDF
    • the report will be available to view in your downloads
    • you will have to zoom out to view the report.

    By checking your Water Statement details against your entitlements, you have a snapshot of actual usage to date from your last meter reading and your entitlement remaining for the season.

    These reports can help you to monitor water use, compare usage across different seasons and evaluate the impact of changing on-farm practices.

    For an example of a Water Usage Report see download the Online water statement factsheet.

    More information
    For more information about your Water Statement or if you are unable to access your water statement, please contact us on
    1300 139 510.

  • Werribee winter irrigation roster

    To enable our customers to plan winter irrigation requirements in conjunction with Southern Rural Water’s winter maintenance activities, please note the Werribee winter irrigation roster from May to the end of September.

    Providing there is enough demand, water supply will be available to irrigators in the Werribee Irrigation District from Monday to Friday \ during the season.

    *Note: Recycled water availability is subject to scheduled annual maintenance by Melbourne Water.

    In exceptional circumstances if demand is high, we may deliver water on non-rostered days. Please place your order on Waterline at or contact the 24-hour telephone Water Ordering Service on 1300 360 117. You will need to place your orders at least one business day before the water is required.

    WID winter Irrigation roster 2024

  • Private works

    If you want to do works around (near, on or over) infrastructure controlled by Southern Rural Water, including open channels, pipelines and drains, you will need a licence to construct and use private works.

    These structures can include:

    • Occupational crossings
    • Siphons
    • New or replacement outlets
    • Power or water lines
    • Pivot crossings
    • Or any other structures


    How do I apply for a licence?

    • Contact our Land Management Coordinator to discuss your plan. This will include an on-site meeting.
    • Submit an application form: Request for the Approval of Private Works (no payment is needed up front)
    • If approved, we will send you a written agreement with a request for fees for you to sign and send back with payment
    • Once we have received this and approved the agreement, works can start
    • During the project, our Land Management Coordinator will inspect regularly to check progress and that you are complying with specifications.


    Security deposit

    Part of the fee is a security deposit, which we will refund when the project is completed to the required standard and specifications.



    Please note that failure to comply with our processes and requirements is a breach of Section 148 of the Water Act 1989, and could result in prosecution.

    Private works information sheet

    Private Works application

  • Location

    The Werribee Irrigation District (WID) is one of Melbourne’s vegetable “gardens”, located on Melbourne’s doorstep in the estuarine flood plain of the Werribee River.

    The region was settled immediately after the first arrivals in Melbourne of European settlers, and has been an important agricultural centre since the early 19th century.

    Map of the Werribee Irrigation District's boundary
For more information see these

Click on these related pages to discover more about our Modernisation project, find related application forms and the current WID Allocations.