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Western Irrigation Network

Western Water is undertaking a detailed planning phase for the Western Irrigation Network.

Western Water’s Board has endorsed spending $1.5 million to undertake a detailed planning phase for the Western Irrigation Network (WIN) following positive response to the feasibility study from stakeholders.

Feasibility Study completed

Western Water worked with stakeholders and possible customers to understand potential demand for supplying Class C recycled water to agricultural land to the west of Melbourne, in contrast with other options for managing recycled water supplies.

The $0.8 million, 12-month feasibility study, completed in April 2018, was jointly funded by Western Water, the Commonwealth National Infrastructure Development Fund, the Victorian Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning, Moorabool Shire Council and Melton City Council. 

The study contrasted proceeding with business as usual operations against the development of an irrigation network, and/or connecting to other water corporations to dispose of recycled water.

Analysis included consideration of which agricultural areas offered real opportunities to establish the WIN initially - within timeframes that would maintain compliance with regulatory obligations for recycled water disposal in the short, medium and long term - given the significant impacts of urban growth in the region.

Details about the options considered in the feasibility study can be found in the WIN project update (May 2018).

WIN Project Update - September 2017883KB

WIN Project Update - June 2018236KB

Feasibility Study recommendations

  • Significant population growth in the region presents significant challenges for Western Water to continue its business as usual approach to managing compliance with regulatory obligations for recycled water disposal.
  • Developing WIN initially in the Parwan-Balliang area offers the most cost-effective solution for long term recycled water management within immediate timeframes.
  • WIN will deliver wider benefits to the region including more efficient use of quality agricultural soils, increased food and fibre production, and more jobs.
  • WIN will be flexible and open to further demand sources in the future.
  • Western Water will continue to consider the potential for irrigation networks in other areas as well as connecting to the Western Treatment Plant to address excess recycled water supplies.

Detailed planning phase

Over 2018, the detailed planning phase will include:

  • creating operational models
  • developing commercial arrangements
  • conducting site assessments
  • generating the engineering design
  • obtaining detailed input from experts in agriculture and economics
  • undertaking further consultation with potential customers and stakeholders
  • securing commitments from recycled water customers, and
  • developing the project procurement plan.

WIN key dates

If the detailed planning phase confirms it is the best solution for managing recycled water supplies in the region and funding is secured, key WIN milestones are:

  • December 2018 – Detailed plan approved and submitted for funding
  • Mid 2020 - Melton RWP 1.3GL recycled water storage completed
  • December 2020 - Melton RWP-Bacchus Marsh RWP interconnector completed
  • September 2021 - WIN constructed and fully operational.

Potential customers

If you are a landowner or grower interested in the Western Irrigation Network, please contact us at WIN@westernwater.com.au.

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