Thousands of people across central north-west Victoria are set to benefit from a reliable water supply following the completion of the South West Loddon Pipeline.
Dubbed the ‘best development for the region since electricity’, the pipeline provides a secure reticulated water supply to 1500 rural properties in areas surrounding Inglewood, Newbridge, St Arnaud and Wedderburn.
Murphy’s Creek farmer Deb Hancock said the pipeline had given their children a future on their farm.
“For us, the impact of the pipeline is hard to explain in words,” she said. “We were spending a lot of money trucking water from Bendigo; one year we spent $90,000.
“To not have to worry about water – Wow.”
Not only has their water security improved, but the quality of the water has made difference to the health of their stock.
“The supply we get from the pipeline is absolutely phenomenal,” she said. “The animals love it; the sheep won’t even go near a dam anymore. The sheep look amazing and that’s just because of the quality of the water. It’s exceptional.”
The pipeline also paves the way for future growth for their business.
“We are hoping to split our paddocks and put troughs in each, increase our sheep capacity and plant more trees around our property,” she said.
The connection has also meant Coliban Water urban customers in Bridgewater and Inglewood are receiving a more reliable and better quality drinking water supply with reduced organics and salinity levels. Coliban also has plans to connect urban water supply for Tarnagulla, Bealiba, Dunolly and Laanecoorie to the pipeline in the future.
The pipeline is a joint initiative and funded in partnership by the Victorian Government ($40 million), the Commonwealth Government ($20m) and GWMWater and landholders ($27m), Coliban Water ($2.5m), Goulburn Murray Water and Loddon Shire Council.
GWMWater’s Managing Director Mark Williams said the pipeline would reap significant benefits for those connected, including farming enterprises, lifestyle properties, recreation facilities and other businesses.
“Farmers in the south-west Loddon area have traditionally relied on catchment dams for their water supply needs and relied on water carting during dry periods and drought,” he said.
“The South West Loddon Pipeline will alleviate that and sustain the agriculture sector that underpins the viability of the region by providing opportunities to support new business ventures and employment opportunities in the farming and intensive livestock sectors.”
Rural landholders in the area who want to connect to the pipeline can still express their interest to connect to the pipeline by calling GWMWater on 1300 659 961 during business hours.
The completion of the South West Loddon Pipeline is another landmark in delivering the Victorian Government’s Water for Victoria plan working to meet the challenges of climate change and population growth, and taking action to ensure our water system is modern and efficient, future-focused and affordable.