Goulburn Murray Water (GMW) is pleased to confirm $177.5 million in Commonwealth funding has been announced for GMW Water Efficiency Projects. The projects will deliver 15.9 GL in water savings and further modernise the Goulburn Murray Irrigation District (GMID).

The GMW Water Efficiency Projects will use off-farm infrastructure changes to help meet Victoria’s obligations as part of Murray Darling Basin Plan and avoids water buy-backs by the Commonwealth Government.

The infrastructure modernisation work on this project will likely involve automating and upgrading channels, rationalising and decommissioning redundant channels and upgrading metered outlets.

This is an opportunity to rationalise some parts of the aging irrigation system, and reduce ongoing asset liability. We are keeping our business sustainable in the long-term and keeping costs down for our customers.

It is anticipated the GMW Off-Farm Efficiency Projects will see improvements to irrigation standards for more than 1000 customers, whilst producing around 1000 regional jobs during construction.

The works and auditing of water savings have started with Winter Works 2021 packages, primarily in and around Shepparton East. The WEP Project team are planning for the majority of the work to be completed by 2023

Together with the recently completed $2 billion Connections Project, the GMW Water Efficiency Projects will maintain Victoria’s competitive advantage in the agri-food sector with greater stability in its agricultural productive systems and providing a more sustainable future for the GMID and supporting further regional development.

A current breakdown of the project can be found here (Proposed figures only; subject to scope development):

Irrigation Area Customers to benefit Channels to be treated Outlets to be treated
Central Goulburn 270 63 km 274
Loddon Valley 50 38 km 42
Murray Valley 110 33 km 114
Rochester 150 19 km 174
Torrumbarry 220 79 km 238
Shepparton 200 24 km 179
Total 1000 256 km 1021

Current Project activity

The GMW WEP project team have been hard at work planning Winter Works 2021 packages to kick off the project without delay. This year’s regular irrigation shutdown will be especially important for Domestic and Stock customers in Shepparton East as we make use of the annual shutdown from 15 May.

The modernisation work this winter will include regulator automation, and meter upgrades to be able to implement Total Channel Control across more of the Goulburn Murray Irrigation District.

Please review WEP Project Update #1 under Resources below for further detail and a map of our planned activities.


Project development and assessment

As part of seeking agreement to commence the Project, GMW consulted with customers and key stakeholders to ensure the project meets the socio-economic criteria, generates water savings and has the support of the community. 

 A copy of the presentation and summary of notes from the webinars are available here:

Following engagement with customers and key stakeholders in the GMID, GMW submitted the Water Efficiency Project proposal, including documentation of how it meets the socio-economic criteria, to the Victorian Government. The Victorian Government put the project proposal on public display via the Engage Victoria website, before assessing water efficiency projects against the agreed socio-economic criteria.

For more information visit the Engage Victoria website.

With funding secured, the project team are planning their program in detail and look forward to continuing to engage with our customers and key stakeholders as information becomes available.

More information

If you have any questions, please phone 1300 163 006.