The Victorian Government will invest $1million in a feasibility study to determine if it can extend the Wimmera Mallee Pipeline to the West Wimmera Shire and Ararat Rural City.
Grampians Wimmera Mallee Water (GWMWater) will conduct the study and investigate the feasibility of extending the pipeline network to cover an area of more than 300,000 hectares.
The study will also explore the feasibility of replacing the open channel between Rocklands Reservoir and Taylors Lake with a pipeline.
The Wimmera Mallee Pipeline was completed in 2010 and replaced 17,500km of earthen channels with more than 9000km of pressurised pipeline to provide continuous water supply to 9000 farms and 34 townships.
The study will include hydrological assessments of water resources, design concepts for pipe supply and stakeholder and community consultation.
It will also consider options to improve recreational opportunities as well as environmental and emergency service outcomes.
Within Ararat Rural City, the study will include assessing the feasibility of expanding the pipeline network to the areas between Ararat and Westmere and from Mafeking to Buangor.
In the West Wimmera Shire, it will assess the potential to expand the pipeline network to the area running north to west between Patyah and Balmoral and the area running west to east from Edenhope to Balmoral.
The Victorian Government will contribute $760,000 towards the study with the remainder to come from GWMW.
Victorian Premier, Daniel Andrews, said, “Drought affected communities are doing it tough, with the lack of rain forcing many farmers and rural property owners to cart water great distances for both domestic use and to keep stock alive.”
“This feasibility study will examine the potential to extend the Wimmera Mallee Pipeline to deliver water security to more of Ararat Rural City and West Wimmera Shire and better secure the future of local farming.”
Victorian Minister for Environment, Climate Change and Water, Lisa Neville, said, “The Andrews Labor Government is examining how best to support communities such as those in Ararat Rural City and West Wimmera Shire who have become heavily reliant on water carting due to the prolonged dry period.”
“The study on extending the Wimmera Mallee Pipeline is a prime example of the work being undertaken to identify how best to extend Victoria’s water grid to deliver greater water security to more communities across the state.”