Private Irrigation Infrastructure Operators Program in New South Wales

​​​​​The Private Irrigation Infrastructure Operators Program in New South Wales (PIIOP-NSW) aimed to improve the efficiency and productivity of water use and management of private irrigation networks to deliver water savings for the environment. Water entitlements resulting from water savings generated from eligible projects, both off and on-farm, will help to secure a sustainable future for irrigation communities.

PIIOP projects will allow private irrigation infrastructure operators and their customers to reduce water losses and manage their water allocations more efficiently. Projects assist irrigation communities to adapt to a future scenario of reduced water availability due to climate change.

The Private Irrigation Infrastructure Operators Program (PIIOP) in New South Wales was part of the Sustainable Rural Water Use and Infrastructure Program (SRWUIP). SRWUIP is a national program investing in rural water use, management and efficiency and is the key mechanism to ‘bridge the gap’ to the sustainable diversion limits under the Murray-Darling Basin Plan. 

All projects under the PIIOP are now complete with no further activities funded under this program.

Activities Funded

Fourteen projects with funding of over $850 million was approved to improve the efficiency of off-farm irrigation systems and on-farm water use through measures such as:

  • upgrading and modernising irrigation channels
  • installing pressurised pipeline systems
  • installing new or upgrading existing irrigation infrastructure or technology, including automated water management systems, remote control, pump stations and compliant meters
  • constructing secure stock and domestic water delivery systems
  • on-farm infrastructure upgrades and works.

Organisation

Round 1

Round 2

Round 3

Total Funding

Marthaguy Irrigation Scheme Pty Ltd $9,407,190 $9,407,190
Coleambally Irrigation Co-operative Ltd $43,764,727 $7,350,000 $1,198,500 $52,313,227
Tenandra Scheme $37,475,140 $37,475,140
Trangie Nevertire Co-operative Ltd $115,000,000 $115,000,000
Murrumbidgee Irrigation Ltd $50,000,000 $172,971,708 $122, 246,556 $345,218,264
Murray Irrigation Ltd $169,226,315 $50,525,641 $219,751,956
Narromine Irrigation Board of Management $60,237,244 $60,237,244
Goodnight Irrigation Trust $1,167,040 $1,167,040
Hay Private Irrigation District $10,204,564 $10,204,564
Total Funding $255,647,057 $409,785,267 $185,342,301 $850,774,625

Expected water savings

Projects approved under Rounds 1, 2 and 3 of the program have provided the Australian Government with 210.5 gigalitres (nominal) which equates to 142 gigalitres of LTAAY* of water savings every year on average over the long term to help “bridge the gap” to the sustainable diversion limits under the Murray–Darling Basin Plan. The investment in infrastructure projects will also help to boost the economic and social outcomes for regional communities.

*LTAAY is Long Term Average Annual Yield – this is a cap factor that allows a numerical value assignment to the numerous classes of water entitlements. This provides a consistent accounting system to ensure the actual volume of water recovery has occurred as planned. The factors do not alter entitlements and are not considered during water resource assessment.

LTAAY total water transferred to the Australian Government (ML)*

Organisation Round 1 Round 2 Round 3 Total Water
Marthaguy Irrigation Scheme Pty Ltd 2,070 2,070
Coleambally Irrigation Co-operative Ltd 9,569 1,641 242 11,452
Tenandra Scheme 5,252 5,252
Trangie Nevertire Co-operative Ltd 11,516 11,516
Murrumbidgee Irrigation Ltd 5,700 36,960 13,663 56,323
Murray Irrigation Ltd 37,596 6,680 44,276
Narromine Irrigation Board of Management 8,411 8,411
Goodnight Irrigation Trust 173 173
Hay Private Irrigation District 2,549 2,549
Total Water 34,107 84,608 23,307 142,022

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Round 3—closed on 12 May 2015

Under Round 3 of PIIOP-NSW, $185.3 million in funding was granted to five irrigation infrastructure operators.

Coleambally Irrigation Co-operative Ltd

Coleambally Irrigation Co-operative received funding of $1,198,500 and transferred water entitlements that will return 242 ML every year on average over the long-term to the Australian Government to help bridge the gap in the Murrumbidgee catchment.

Commonwealth investment in this project achieved:

  • replacing and modifying regulating structures
  • installing flume gates
  • replacing culverts, enlargement of channel sections and raising banks
  • upgrading escapes

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Final Project Report – Coleambally Irrigation Co-operative Ltd Modernisation Project PDFPDF Icon 8 888 KB

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Goodnight Irrigation Trust

Goodnight Irrigation received funding of $1,167,040 and transferred water entitlements that will return 173 ML every year on average over the long-term to the Australian Government to help bridge the gap in the Murray catchment.

Commonwealth investment in this project achieved:

  • replacing existing fibrolite pipe system with UPVC pipe
  • upgrading pipeline control, valving and monitoring sites
  • installing pumps and pump stations
  • upgrading service outlet points
  • installing system automation and system screen filtration.

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Final Project Report – Goodnight Irrigation Trust System Efficiency Project PDF PDF Icon 28 3.4 MB

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Hay Private Irrigation District

Hay Private Irrigation received funding of $10,204,564 and transferred water entitlements that will return 2,549 ML every year on average over the long-term to the Australian Government to help bridge the gap in the Murrumbidgee catchment.

Commonwealth investment in this project achieved:

  • installing pipelines, meters, pumps and a pump station
  • installing automation and remote control technology
  • decommissioning of regulating structures, culverts, bridges and crossings associated with the open channel system.

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Final Project Report – Hay Private Irrigation District Modernisation Project PDF PDF Icon 60 7.1 MB

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Murrumbidgee Irrigation Ltd

Murrumbidgee Irrigation received funding of $122,246,556 and will transfer water entitlements that will return 13,663 ML every year on average over the long-term to the Australian Government to help bridge the gap in the Murrumbidgee catchment. This project is expected to be finalised in July 2020 and involves:

  • channel lining with clay or ethylene propylene diene monomer (EPDM) rubber lining, including reforming earthen and concrete channels
  • channel/canal automation and remote monitoring of escapes and outlets
  • replacing inefficient channel systems with gravity pipelines and pumped stock and domestic systems
  • earth channel rehabilitation
  • conversion of dethridge wheels to compliant meters.

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Final Project Report – Murrumbidgee Irrigation Limited PDF PDF Icon 22 593 KB

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Murray Irrigation Ltd

Murray Irrigation received funding of $50,525,641 and will transfer water entitlements that will return 6,680 ML every year on average over the long-term to the Australian Government to help bridge the gap in the Murray catchment.  

Commonwealth investment in this project achieved:

  • upgrading escapes to enable accurate metering and remote control
  • upgrading Main Canal infrastructure

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Final Project Report – Murray Irrigation Limited PDF PDF Icon 26 5.3 MB
Final Project Report – Murray Irrigation Limited DOCX  26 9 MB

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Round 2—closed 22 July 2011

Under Round 2 of PIIOP-NSW, $409.8 million in funding was granted to four irrigation infrastructure operators.

Coleambally Irrigation Co-operative Ltd

Coleambally Irrigation Co-operative received funding of $7,350,000 and transferred water entitlements that will return 1,641 ML every year on average over the long-term to the Australian Government to help bridge the gap in the Murrumbidgee catchment.  

Commonwealth investment in this project achieved:

  • constructing a 600 ML in-line storage to increase the efficiency and reliability of the Scheme
  • replacing meters with flume gates
  • replacing metering gates on major regulating structures with flume gates
  • a total channel control water delivery system

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Final Project Report – Coleambally Irrigation Co-operative Ltd Modernisation Project PDFPDF Icon 10 4.0 MB

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Narromine Irrigation Board of Management

Narromine Irrigation Board of Management received funding of $60,237,244 and transferred water entitlements that will return 8, 411 ML every year on average over the long-term to the Australian Government to help bridge the gap in the Macquarie catchment.  

Commonwealth investment in this project achieved:

  • decommissioning scheme channels, including the removal and recycling of redundant structures
  • retiring properties from irrigation
  • lining water delivery channels with EPDM
  • upgrading the pump site's electrical controls and software to integrate it into the new automated water management system
  • modernising the water supply control system and its telemetry, including installation of flume gates and secondary regulating structures
  • installing compliant meters and outlets throughout the scheme
  • installing a secure stock and domestic water supply pipeline

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Final Project Report – Narromine Irrigation Board of Management Modernisation Project PDF 71 6.0 MB

The above document was not prepared by the department and may not meet accessibility requirements. If you have difficulty accessing this file, visit web accessibility for assistance.

Murrumbidgee Irrigation Ltd

Murrumbidgee Irrigation received funding of $172,971,708 and will transfer water entitlements that will return 36,960 ML every year on average over the long term to the Australian Government to help bridge the gap in the Murrumbidgee catchment. This project is expected to be finalised in July 2020 and involves:

  • replacing one-third of the Scheme’s open channels with a pumped pipeline system in the Wah Wah area, linked to an on-farm pipe and trough system
  • automation and refurbishment of irrigation channels and channel control structures
  • replacing concrete and earthen channel infrastructure with piped systems
  • on-farm infrastructure upgrades and works.

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Final Project Report – Murrumbidgee Irrigation Limited PDF PDF Icon 25 1.2 MB

The above document was not prepared by the department and may not meet accessibility requirements. If you have difficulty accessing this file, visit web accessibility for assistance.

Murray Irrigation Ltd

Murray Irrigation received funding of $169, 226,315 for a project that will return 37,596 ML every year on average over the long term to the Australian Government to help bridge the gap in the Murray catchment.  

Commonwealth investment in this project achieved:

  • automating regulatory and off-take structures
  • installation of compliant meters
  • reconfiguring the irrigation channel network
  • decommissioning irrigation delivery channels and installing stock and domestic water supply systems.

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Final Project Report – Murray Irrigation Limited PDFPDF Icon 38 2.8 MB
Final Project Report – Murray Irrigation Limited DOCX  38 3.3 MB

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Round 1—closed 27 November 2009

Under the PIIOP-NSW Round 1, $255.6 million in funding was granted to five irrigation infrastructure operators.

Marthaguy Irrigation Scheme

Marthaguy Irrigation Scheme received funding of $9,407,190 and transferred water entitlements that will return 2,070 ML every year on average over the long term to the Australian Government to help bridge the gap in the Macquarie catchment.

Commonwealth investment in this project achieved:

  • decommissioning part of the scheme
  • installing an improved irrigation management system (that included a river level gauge, channel gauges, metering of farm off takes and a telemetry system that allows for the remote control of the irrigation system—total channel control)
  • installing a stock and domestic water supply system

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Final Project Report – Marthaguy Irrigation Scheme PDFPDF Icon 63 3.85 MB

Coleambally Irrigation Cooperative Ltd

Coleambally Irrigation received funding of $43,764,727 and transferred water entitlements that will return 9, 569 ML every year on average over the long term to the Australian Government to help bridge the gap in the Murrumbidgee catchment.

Commonwealth investment in this project achieved:

  • clay re-lining of the main delivery system's channel and rubber lining of a secondary canal
  • upgrading water delivery infrastructure on farms in the main Coleambally and West Coleambally Channel area
  • installing total channel control in the Kerarbury Channel and West Coleambally Channel.

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Final Project Report – Coleambally Irrigation Co-operative Ltd Modernisation Project PDFPDF Icon 24 2.6 MB

The above document was not prepared by the department and may not meet accessibility requirements. If you have difficulty accessing this file, visit web accessibility for assistance.

Tenandra Scheme

Tenandra Scheme received funding of $37,475,140 and transferred water entitlements that will return 5,251 ML every year on average over the long term to the Australian Government to help bridge the gap in the Macquarie catchment.

Commonwealth investment in this project achieved:

  • constructing new pump stations and associated power connections
  • installing large capacity syphons under creeks and water courses
  • constructing new water delivery channels and structures
  • clay lining existing water delivery channels and new channel
  • decommissioning water delivery channels, structures and the existing pump site
  • retirement of farms from irrigation
  • installing new offtake gates, regulating gates and meters
  • channel reshaping an existing channel
  • upgrading water delivery infrastructure on farms.

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Final Project Report - Tenandra Scheme Modernisation Project PDF PDF Icon 111 4.0 MB

The above document was not prepared by the department and may not meet accessibility requirements. If you have difficulty accessing this file, visit web accessibility for assistance.

Trangie Nevertire Co-operative Ltd

Trangie Nevertire Co-operative received funding of $115, 000,000 for a project that will return 11,516 ML every year on average over the long term to the Australian Government to help bridge the gap in the Macquarie catchment.  

Commonwealth investment in this project achieved:

  • reducing the size of the Scheme by approximately one third, including removing water delivery channels and retiring properties from irrigation
  • reshaping and lining water delivery channels
  • upgrading existing structures
  • installing new structures, unmetered gates, metered farm outlets and metered telemetry structures, including upgrading the water delivery infrastructure on farms
  • installing a stock and domestic water supply pipeline to properties.

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Final Project Report – Trangie Nevertire Co-operative Ltd Modernisation Project PDFPDF Icon 79 6.2 MB

The above document was not prepared by the department and may not meet accessibility requirements. If you have difficulty accessing this file, visit web accessibility for assistance.

Murrumbidgee Irrigation Ltd

Murrumbidgee Irrigation received funding of $50,000,000 and transferred water entitlements that will return 5,700 ML every year on average over the long term to the Australian Government to help bridge the gap in the Murrumbidgee catchment.

Commonwealth investment in this project achieved:

  • replacing a deteriorating concrete-lined channel supply system with an integrated water supply system of new pipelines and refurbished open channels in the Lake Wyangan area
  • reinstatement of farm outlet structures and replacement of metered outlet structures with electromagnetic flow meters
  • installation of remote monitoring on metered farm outlets
  • automation of remaining open channels.

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Final Project Report – Lake Wyangan Modernisation Project PDFPDF Icon 41 3.8 MB

The above document was not prepared by the department and may not meet accessibility requirements. If you have difficulty accessing this file, visit web accessibility for assistance.

Further information

Contact our Water Division for more information on the Private Irrigation Infrastructure Operators Program in New South Wales.
Email form: Water Division
Phone: 1800 900 090

Last reviewed: 2 October 2020
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