Case study 2: Marthaguy Irrigation Scheme
Inspecting pipes removed from a decommissioned section
of the redundant Marthaguy Irrigation Scheme channel.
(Tom McKeon, McKeon Associates)
In 2009 the Marthaguy Irrigation Scheme, along with other irrigation water providers, received an initial Irrigation Modernisation Planning Assistance grant of $80 000 to carry out a three-phase project to reduce transmission losses in its system. The grant was used to get independent professional advice and conduct workshops to help develop a modernisation plan. The plan became an integral part of an application for funding under the Private Irrigation Infrastructure Operators Program (PIIOP).
Sections of the old irrigation channel have now been decommissioned and work has begun to build a new pipeline to carry stock and domestic water. The pipeline is scheduled for completion by November 2011.
In 2011 thanks to a successful planning project, the Marthaguy Irrigation Scheme in New South Wales received substantial funding under PIIOP to upgrade its irrigation infrastructure. Irrigation operators hope the upgrading will reduce water losses by five per cent and save up to 5 000 megalitres of water per year.
The scheme will receive up to $9.5 million to carry out infrastructure works to improve irrigation efficiencies. The Commonwealth will acquire entitlements to a share of the water saved by the project.
The project has also provided benefits for the local community: local earthmoving contractors from Warren undertook the decommissioning work, and businesses based in Narromine and Dubbo are installing the pipeline.
Once the reconfiguration project is completed, the community will benefit from a scheme that operates with low water losses and greater financial efficiency, resulting in long-term viability, increased water availability and greater flexibility and continuity of service to its members.