Trangie–Nevertire, New South Wales
Department of Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities, 2012
- Delivering a healthy working Basin for Australia: Water for the Future Trangie–Nevertire, New South Wales (PDF - 558 KB)
Program: Private Irrigation Infrastructure Operators Program NSW
Funding recipient: Trangie-Nevertire Co-operative Ltd
Water for the Future funding $115,000,000
Project commencement: January 2011
Project completion: December 2013
Irrigators in the Trangie–Nevertire Irrigation Scheme near Dubbo are working to lessen the impact of drought and get the maximum benefit from annual water allocations.
Vulnerable to water loss for decades, the new Trangie-Nevertire Scheme has turned loss to gain for members of the Trangie-Nevertire Cooperative Ltd and water losses into water savings for the environment and creating sustainable farms, with $115 million of Australian Government investment in irrigation infrastructure funding.
Reshaping Trangie channels, Trangie-Nevertire
Local irrigator and Chair of the Trangie–Nevertire Irrigation Scheme, Jim Winter, says farmers in the area have long been concerned with an unsustainable rate of water loss.
"It's a new way of thinking about securing water supplies," Mr Winter said.
"It's not just sticking a band-aid on parts of the problem. We're getting rid of the boom and bust extremes of water supply which has wreaked so much havoc on farming."
The new 'whole-system approach' of the modernised Scheme means real water savings will be realised throughout the region, not just on individual properties.
It involved taking some farmers off the irrigation system but also included a new stock and domestic pipeline for every landholder in the cooperative.
Losses were reduced even further by installing automated real-time water metering, automated gates and improved telemetry to provide greater control over water use, and a new rubber lining for channels.
The re-shaped channels are being lined with a durable rubber used for dams in Europe and the USA.
"It's a new way of thinking about securing water supplies. It's not just sticking a bandaid on parts of the problem."
Trangie's channel lining order is the largest the company has ever received.
The lining not only limits water loss but helps control weeds, which results in the use of less chemicals harming the environment.
Before the upgrade, the Cooperative tried to minimise water loss by block watering and providing a bulk volume of water down the system to everyone at the same time.
"Secure water now means farmers can diversify their crops. In the past, farmers grew what their neighbours were growing but a reliable water supply enables diversification"
Irrigation channel and infrastructure at Trangie–Nevertire
Everyone had to use their water at a similar time each year, which meant the same crops were grown by each farmer.
"Secure water now means farmers can diversify their crops," Mr Winter explained.
"In the past, farmers grew what their neighbours were growing but a reliable water supply enables diversification."
Secure and reliable water means secure and reliable income for farmers, which in turn means secure and reliable trade for local communities.
"It is easier to keep a doctor in town and a school open if there is reliable income and long-term security in the district," Mr Winter said.
"Once a family goes it's pretty much impossible to get them back as we learnt in the last drought."
"Trangie, Nevertire and Warren have recovered some of their populations and they're new families."
The project will provide 29,839 megalitres of water entitlements to the Commonwealth for environmental use through water savings.
For further information, log onto Australia's water webpage or phone 1800 218 478
Channel lining at Trangie–Nevertire