Landowners in the Mitiamo township and surrounding district will soon experience improved water quality and supply with government funding approved for a new $29 million pipeline to be delivered by Goulburn-Murray Water.
The Victorian Government has committed $10.2 million in funding, and the Australian Government has now committed up to an additional $14.5 million in funding from the National Water Infrastructure Development Fund, with a further $4.3 million being contributed by landowners toward the total cost of the Project. Any additional on-farm work costs associated with the domestic and stock scheme such as water tanks, troughs, pipe and fittings will be the responsibility of the landowners.
Project Director for the Mitiamo Pipeline Project Daniel Arnold said, “The Mitiamo Pipeline will be highly beneficial to the local community, with flow-on economic impacts to the broader economy.
"Water is currently delivered to some properties in this region for domestic and stock purposes through a network of open channels and dam storages. The current system is characterised by poor service capability and large losses of water through seepage and evaporation. Over 80% of water supplied to the channels is lost before use and only two-thirds of the project area is currently serviced.
“The potential for productive agriculture and expansion of intensive agricultural industries is currently constrained by the availability, reliability and quality of domestic and stock water. The Mitiamo township is also significantly affected by water quality resulting in regular high cost water cartage from Echuca to replace or augment supplies.”
Construction is expected to start early next year with the final pipeline proposed to supply 75,000 hectares north of Bendigo and south west of Echuca near the townships of Mitiamo, Tennyson and Dingee. The new pipeline will provide a year round service to 180 customers and 87 rural houses through 376 tapping points with delivery of approximately 528 ML of piped domestic and stock water per year.
The Mitiamo Pipeline Project will reduce public and private water losses by approximately 1,026 ML per year and includes installing 375 km of pipeline, a pump station and 90 ML storage facility.
“Addressing these problems will produce significant benefits to the local and broader community. Provision of a more reliable service and a cleaner water supply is expected to result in increased productivity of the land, improved community resilience and liveability, improve terrestrial biodiversity of Terrick Terrick National Park and improved high value use of water,” Daniel said.
“The pursuit of these benefits is aligned with the primary aims of the National Water Initiative to build greater certainty for investment, improved economic efficiency and environmental sustainability. It is also aligned with a number of Victorian Government policies and initiatives including ‘Water for Victoria’ and the ‘Food & Fibre Strategy’. The efficiency gained by replacing leaking channels with a piped system will result in waters savings that may become available for productive or environmental purposes.”
Mitiamo Reticulated Water Supply Committee Chair, Neil Allen said, “This Project is something that we have been working towards for more than 10 years so we are very pleased to see that it is progressing.
“This is very important for the township of Mitiamo and surrounds. It will mean we have water on tap 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Previously we have been relying on dams to be full which has only been done once a year. It will also mean we will be nearly doubling the area with access to water. During dry times this Project will make a huge difference.
“For residents it means they will benefit from being able to tend to their gardens and we all know the psychological benefits that green can bring. They will also have access to better quality, clean and reliable water.
“For cropping purposes the clean and reliable supply will see a reduction in chemical usage bringing with it benefits to the environment. There are also great water savings attached to this Project and it will mean we don’t have open channels running all through the countryside meaning we will be using water more efficiently.
“Projects like this allow you to improve on-farm efficiencies and perhaps do things that previously you may not have been able to do. This improvement will motivate people to look at, and attract further investment, into the area and will boost property values,” Neil said.
Representatives from Goulburn-Murray Water have begun engaging with landowners about the pipeline, and consultants are well underway with environmental and cultural heritage assessments to confirm the pipeline alignment.
Once completed the newly created Mitiamo Piped Water District will be owned and operated by Goulburn-Murray Water.