Goulburn-Murray Water (GMW) is well past the halfway point of its 2022 Winter Works program, which has made considerable progress on several capital and maintenance projects.
The annual program takes place during the irrigation shutdown period from May 15 to August 14.
GMW Infrastructure Delivery Services general manager Warren Jose said a significant amount of work would be completed during the three months.
“This year’s Winter Works program, we’re investing about $6 million. That covers desilting, weed treatment and major upgrades to assets such as bridges, culverts and regulator structures,” he said.
“We’re treating weeds in around 200km of channel this winter, which is almost 5 per cent of our total network. We are also removing silt from about 100km of channels. This will enhance flows and ensure water gets through to our customers as and when it’s needed.”
This year, GMW is also undertaking repairs on many of its flume gates.
“Our flume gates are the integral units that regulate flow throughout the network. We’re repairing, replacing or refurbishing 60 of them, which is quite a significant number,” Mr Jose said.
“We need cranes to lift them in and out, so we try to repair them in place when we can. But where we can’t, we lift them out, transfer them to our regional workshops and repair them there.”
The irrigation off-season only provides a short window for GMW to complete a large amount of work, but Mr Jose said detailed planning ensured the organisation would meet its targets.
“It’s a very busy and intense period. On any given day, we would have a minimum of 100 staff in the field working on these jobs. It’s in the order of 4000 man-hours a week, with contractors assisting on top of that,” he said.
“It’s only when the network is out of season like it is now that we get the chance to refurbish or replace assets that are normally underwater. We spend months planning the work that is to be done in a 13-week period.
“When the irrigation season commences, we then revert to works beyond the waterline.”
You can listen to Mr Jose talk about the Winter Works program in the newest episode of the Talking Water with GMW podcast by visiting the GMW website, Pod Bean, Apple Podcasts, or Google Podcasts