A major water recycling scheme in Victoria, the Western Irrigation Network, is one step closer to supporting local farmland irrigation, with the storage dam at Melton Recycled Water Plant now being filled.

The Western Irrigation Network project is on-track to supply reliable water to local farmers and help irrigate thousands of hectares of farmland from early 2023.

The recently completed, 1.1 gigalitre storage dam at the Melton Recycled Water Plant is now being filled, and will be integrated with existing storage to together supply 18.3 gigalitres of recycled water every year by 2050.

The $116.3 million Western Irrigation Network project is set to transform the local farming community and expand agricultural production in the Parwan-Balliang region, a win across jobs and growth for Victoria’s agriculture sector.

The project has been jointly funded by the Victorian ($65.6 million) and Federal ($48.1 million) governments and other partners ($2.6 million), delivered in partnership with Greater Western Water and local farmers.

The Victorian Minister for Water, Lisa Neville, said, “The Western Irrigation Network will provide local farmers with access to a reliable, year-round supply of recycled water, helping develop the food district within an hour’s drive of Melbourne.”

The Western Irrigation Network is delivering more than 50 kilometres of pipeline to bring recycled water to the region, transforming it from dryland farming to a thriving agricultural precinct.

Other works underway include the construction of infrastructure to connect existing recycled water supplies between the Melton and Bacchus Marsh plants to feed into the network.

The Victorian Parliamentary Secretary for Water, Harriet Shing, said, “This project is a great example of how we can work with the local community to sustainably manage increased amounts of wastewater.”

The Victorian Member for Melton, Steve McGhie, said, “Unreliable rainfall has been a significant issue for local farmers and this new recycled water supply will help them to grow the district’s economy.”

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