The Victorian Government will connect the southwest Loddon Shire with Victoria’s water grid through the construction of 1300kms of pipelines linking the West Waranga Channel with the Wimmera Mallee Pipeline.

Victorian Premier, Daniel Andrews and Victorian Minister for Environment, Climate Change and Water, Lisa Neville, joined Agriculture Minister, Jaala Pulford, to announce the project, which aims to provide water security to the region’s rural communities.

Currently, rural communities in southwest Loddon Shire are largely dependent on rainfall for their water supply and after three years of drought conditions, many rural residents have been forced to cart water for stock and domestic purposes.

Under stage two of the South West Loddon Rural Water Supply Project, more than 260 farm businesses and 370 other rural properties will be connected to the grid, creating 134 jobs during and after construction.

The pipelines will deliver about 780million litres of water to local landholders and hydrants, and standpipes will be installed at strategic locations to improve water access for emergency services and residents.

Mr Andrews said communities around Loddon Shire have been doing it tough without reliable and secure access to water.

“Stage two will connect hundreds of properties in south-west Loddon Shire to the water grid for the first time ever, significantly increasing the region’s water security and helping local farming,” Mr Andrews said.

“For local families forced to cart water during dry conditions, this will save time and money.”

Ms Neville said stage two of the project will significantly lessen the impact of dry seasons on farm businesses and other rural properties.

“Connecting the West Waranga Channel and Wimmera Mallee pipeline will mean a previously isolated water system will now give customers greater water security while still using existing water entitlements.”

The project is expected to cost approximately $80million, which includes $40million from the Labor Government and a $20million contribution from Grampians Wimmera Mallee Water and landholders. The Commonwealth Government will also be asked to contribute.

Stage one of the South West Loddon Rural Water Supply Project was announced in November 2015 and included the construction of 40km of trunk pipelines and associated infrastructure such as hydrants and pump stations around Korong Vale, Wychitella, Buckrabanyule and Woosang.

The Victorian Government also announced the Coonooer Bridge peripheral pipeline extension project, which will connect properties in and around Coonooer Bridge, including the township’s CFA station and community centre.

This $245,000 project will be jointly funded by the Labor Government and Grampians Wimmera Mallee Water and will build around 8km of stock and domestic pipeline off the Wimmera Mallee Pipeline.

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