Newry pipeline kicks goals

The Newry Pipeline is an asset to the Gippsland farming industry. Image: Zoran Zeremski/

In its first season, Southern Rural Water’s Newry Pipeline project has proven to be a significant asset, recently reaching a peak flow rate of 130 megalitres.

The pipeline concluded the final stage of the districts modernisation last year, now benefiting our Gippsland farmers through water-saving technologies.

“The Newry Pipeline highlights the importance of continuous innovation and investment in our critical infrastructure that supports the sustainable management of our water resources,” Southern Rural Water shared on LinkedIn.

The Newry pipeline had become fully operational in October 2023 with over 1,000 megalitres of irrigation water ordered and carried by the new pipeline.

Phase 2 of the pipeline construction project started in January 2023, which consisted in replacing 100-year-old channels with new pipelines and automated outlets.

The Newry pipeline project replaced open channels with 17.25 kilometres of new pipeline, and the construction of four kilometres of customer connection pipelines and 51 customer outlets.

Southern Rural Water program lead Matt Weatherall said at the time that the project would deliver long-lasting and tangible benefits to farmers, waterways and the environment.

“By transitioning to a piped supply, less water is lost to leakage and evaporation and there are opportunities to implement best-practice water use, invest in on-farm efficiencies and improve farm productivity,” he said.

The Newry pipeline contract was first announced in September 2022 as part of Phase 2 of the $159.7 million Macalister Irrigation District modernisation program.

“We are excited to start work on the Newry Pipeline Project,” Southern Rural Water managing director Cameron FitzGerald  said at the time.

“This major infrastructure upgrade is a win for Gippsland and will markedly increase both water delivery efficiency and customer service levels.”

The pipeline is set to deliver around 4,300 megalitres in water savings and increase delivery efficiency to customers to over 90 per cent.

This should drive vital investment in on-farm efficiencies, improve farm productivity and support local businesses to be more climate resilient.

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