An upgrade of the Waranga Western Channel was officially opened in Boort today by the State and Regional Development Minister, John Brumby.
The channel provides water supplies to expanding irrigation business in the Pyramid-Boort irrigation area.
The upgrade was undertaken in response to an increase in demand for water by developers who recognised the Boort area's suitability for horticulture and diversified traditional farming practices accordingly.
Goulburn-Murray Water Chairperson Don Cummins said the opening of this upgrade, which enlarged the channel to allow delivery of an extra 24,000 megalitres of water each year, recognises a shift towards high-value crops to maintain viability in the irrigation region.
""There has been great interest in this project, particularly given the good soils types in prime development zones along the channel. The increase in jobs and production that it supports will provide a significant boost to the economy for years to come,"" he said.
""Goulburn-Murray Water is very proud to have delivered this successful project for the Pyramid-Boort area, and I commend the various organisations involved for the way in which they worked together.""
The upgrade involved enlarging 32 kilometres of the Waranga Western Channel, clay-lining sections to eliminate seepage losses and replacing a number of structures, including automation of flow-control regulators. It was carried out during the winter non-irrigation periods over three years to avoid interruption to water supplies.
The project was funded by the Victorian Government, Goulburn-Murray Water via its Pyramid-Boort customers, Loddon Shire Council and developers who will use the enlarged channel.