Macalister Irrigation District Channel Automation

Central Gippsland, Victoria

Total funding: $41 million over three years, Australian Government contribution of $20 million and Victorian Government contribution of $21 million ($8 million for stages 1 and 2, and $13 million for the Gippsland Lakes Recovery Plan).

About the project

The project will potentially save up to 15 000 megalitres of water a year from the largest irrigation area south of the Great Dividing Range by using new technology to improve control of water flow through irrigation channels.

While manual systems often require large amounts of water to deliver relatively small parcels of water to irrigators, new remote controlled flume gates will provide tighter control over releases.

Under the system, customers will also be able to order water online as part of an improved supply service.

Water savings will be used to increase environmental flows in both the Macalister and Thomson Rivers, without reducing water allocation to farmers.

The Lakes Recovery Plan will reduce the amount of nutrients flowing into the Gippsland Lakes.

The project advances the National Water Initiative objective of increasing efficiency of water use in agriculture.


All flume gates and regulators have been completed. Automation of irrigation systems under project stages one to four have provided 8 billion litres per year in water savings for the environment. The remaining automated systems are being "tuned" over the current irrigation season to calculate water savings.

Final report

Macalister Irrigation District Channel Automation Project Final Report (PDF - 1.48 MB) | (DOC - 6.11 MB)