The project is jointly funded by the Australian Government ($11 million) and Southern Rural Water ($11 million). Australian Government funding is provided through the National Water Grid Fund.
The project will increase the reliability of irrigated water supply to farmers facing an increasingly drier climate in the Werribee Irrigation District. Project work includes replacement of an inefficient channel-based irrigation network with a modern, automated pipeline.
The new pipeline will improve flow control and operation and create better water service levels to support on-farm productivity. Located 30 km southwest of Melbourne, the region is one of Victoria’s biggest producers of fresh vegetables.
The region specialises in leafy green vegetables such as broccoli, cauliflower and lettuce and has a current farm gate value of over $187 million. On completion of this project, it is expected the region will receive an extra 1,350 megalitres of water per year through water savings and see an increase of $1.8 million in farm gate value per year.
The project forms part of a staged upgrade of the Werribee Irrigation District, with 4 of the 5 stages already complete.
Construction of the final stage, Stage 5, of the Werribee Irrigation District Modernisation is expected for completion in late 2024.