Using technology to innovate GMW's winter works in 2021

Tuesday 20 April, 2021

As our irrigators prepare for the end of irrigation season in mid-May, Goulburn-Murray Water’s (GMW) busy finalising the winter works program.

This program delivers important maintenance and refurbishment work across the irrigation delivery network, enabling GMW to delivery reliable and affordable water to our irrigators on time during the irrigation season.

Our systems and data are critical to the success of our winter works program. Our water control system is monitored 24 hours a day, seven days a week, allowing our water operators to scrutinise the network and customer flow rates.

This new technology and real-time data tells us which parts of the network need attention first. By identifying problems quicker and fixing it as it occurs, we’re reducing cost and saving time.

You might see us clearing a waterway, for example – and the issues that require further investigation form part of our winter works program. This is where you will see channels dewatered and maintenance completed between May and August each year.

With the largest irrigation network in Australia, our systems and data are complex - but they are a crucial backbone to our annual maintenance works ensure we keep the delivery system running efficiently.

From 15 May, we are undertaking an $8 million maintenance program to enhance the capacity of our irrigation network.

Some of the works include:

  • draining channels to remove silt build-up and other obstructions
  • treating channels with approved herbicides to remove weeds
  • repairing various structures such as bridge crossings and drainage culverts and flow regulators, and
  • remodelling channel banks to ensure these channels lifespan is maintained.

The works will be complete by early August to allow channels to be recharged and irrigation supply recommence by 15 August 2021. The safety of our staff, customers and the local community is the priority and with a large winter works scheduled for 2021 safety will continue to be at the forefront for the successful delivery of the winter works program this year.

I’m proud of what we have achieved this irrigation season, delivering water to our irrigators throughout the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic and continuing to deliver services while responding to our customers’ needs.

Our vision of a fair, affordable and efficient irrigation delivery system now and for decades to come relies on the building blocks of these important maintenance and refurbishment works across the GMID.

Charmaine Quick
Managing Director
Goulburn-Murray Water