Article by: Hari Yellina
With government funding granted for a new $29 million pipeline to be constructed by Goulburn-Murray Water, landowners in the Mitiamo township and surrounding territory will soon enjoy enhanced water quality and delivery. The Victorian government has paid $10.2 million, while the Australian government has committed up to an extra $14.5 million from the National Water Infrastructure Development Fund, with landowners contributing an additional $4.3 million to the total project cost. Landowners will be responsible for any additional on-farm work expenditures linked with the household and stock scheme, such as water tanks, troughs, piping, and fittings.
“The Mitiamo Pipeline will be immensely advantageous to the local community, with flow-on economic advantages to the greater economy,” stated Daniel Arnold, project director for the Mitiamo Pipeline Project. “Water is currently distributed to some properties in this region via a network of open channels and dam storages for domestic and livestock use. The current system is marked by low serviceability and significant water losses due to seepage and evaporation. Only two-thirds of the project area is now serviced, and over 80% of the water provided to the channels is lost before usage. “The availability, reliability, and quality of residential and stock water are currently limiting the potential for profitable agriculture and the expansion of intensive agricultural sectors.
Water quality is also a major issue in Mitiamo, necessitating regular high-cost water cartage from Echuca to replace or supplement supplies.” The fourth pipeline is expected to service 75,000 hectares north of Bendigo and south west of Echuca near the communities of Mitiamo, Tennyson, and Dingee. Construction is expected to begin early next year. Through 376 tapping locations, the new pipeline will provide year-round service to 180 clients and 87 rural dwellings, delivering roughly 528 ML of piped residential and stock water per year. The Mitiamo Pipeline Project, which includes the installation of 375 km of pipeline, a pump station, and a 90 ML storage facility, will cut public and private water losses by roughly 1,026 ML per year.
“Addressing these issues will have a substantial positive impact on the local and wider communities.” “Providing a more reliable service and a cleaner water supply is likely to result in greater land productivity, improved community resilience and liveability, improved Terreck Terrick National Park terrestrial biodiversity, and improved high-value water use,” Daniel said. “The pursuit of these benefits is consistent with the National Water Initiative’s key goals of increased investment certainty, improved economic efficiency, and environmental sustainability.” It also corresponds to a number of Victorian government policies and projects, such as ‘Water for Victoria’ and the ‘Food and Fibre Strategy.’ Water savings may result from the efficiency obtained by replacing leaking channels with a piped system.
“This Project is something that we have been working on for more than 10 years, so we are quite glad to see that it is developing,” Mitiamo Reticulated Water Supply Committee Chair Neil Allen said. “This is critical for Mitiamo and the surrounding areas.” We shall have access to water 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. We had previously relied on dams being full, which was only done once a year. It will also nearly double the amount of land having access to water. During dry periods, this project will be quite beneficial.
“For residents, it means they’ll be able to tend to their gardens, and we all know the psychological benefits of being surrounded by green.” They will also have better access to water that is of higher quality, clean, and consistent. “For farming purposes, the clean and consistent supply will reduce chemical usage, resulting in environmental benefits.” This project will also save a lot of water because it will eliminate the need for open waterways throughout the countryside, allowing us to use water more efficiently. “Projects like this allow you to increase on-farm efficiencies and possibly perform things that you couldn’t do before.” This enhancement will encourage people to look at it and attract new customers. 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.