Construction is underway for the stage two of the South West Loddon Pipeline Project, which will deliver vital water to communities, households and farmers in north west Victoria.
Minister for Water, Lisa Neville, announced the construction of stage two had begun, following final environmental and cultural heritage approvals.
“This project will provide water security for farmers and the agriculture sector – which is good for the well-being of agriculture communities, for jobs and for liveability,” Ms Neville said.
“The project will deliver better overall management of water resources by connecting the Wimmera-Glenelg system to the west with the larger Goulburn system in north central Victoria.”
The Victorian Government is putting $40 million towards the $80.6 million project which will secure supply to communities, households and farmers in the South West Loddon region.
Sections of pipe have been delivered to site in areas north of Inglewood, in preparation for construction to begin, which will see the 110km of pipeline installed as part of stage one increased to a total of approximately 1300km.
Stage two of the project will provide water to the rural communities of Skinners Flat, Fiery Creek, Arnold, Bridgewater, East Gowar, Wedderburn South and Kurting.
The new pipeline extends the existing Wimmera-Mallee stock and domestic pipeline, covering a greater area to provide a more secure rural water supply to sustain a viable regional economy.
The project will service 260 rural farming enterprises and 370 lifestyle properties over an area of 2900km2 with a reticulated water supply.
The region has been challenged by climate extremes over the past two decades, having experienced an extended period of dry conditions that have placed a great deal of stress on local farming operations.
A secure water supply to the South West Loddon area will deliver economic benefits by supporting activity and employment in the farming and intensive livestock sectors.
It will reduce the current reliance on water carting and sustain the agricultural sector that underpins the viability of this region.
The project is being delivered in partnership with the Victorian Government, Loddon Shire Council, Coliban Water, Goulburn-Murray Water and the Commonwealth.
Stage one of the project was delivered and officially opened in October 2017.
The project is expected to be completed by mid-2019.