DURING the Second World War the Water Conservation & Irrigation Commission was involved in the construction of a series of defence works such as an aerodrome, fortifications and munitions factory which led to the suspension of its normal work program.
With the cessation of hostilities, a series of new projects were commenced with a number of major water conservation installations constructed.
In 1949, the control of water conservation was vested in a reconstituted WC&IC. It provided farm water supplies, sank bores, administered the lands under its control and supplied electricity to farms, factories and homes.
In 1976 the WC&IC was again reconstituted as the Water Resources Commission with additional responsibilities and functions for water management in NSW, only to be replaced by Department of Water Resources 10 years later, then abolished in 1995 with its branches added to Department of Land & Water Conservation.
In 1980 part of the building was extended and refurbished to accommodate the new departments.
After the Irrigation Corporations Act, 1994 provided the mechanism to move government irrigation enterprises from public ownership to private control, the NSW Government again restructured the department.
One division¸ Murrumbidgee Irrigation, became the unlisted Public Company (limited by shares) owned by the irrigators and relocated to new premises in Dunn Avenue at the WC&IC Depot.
This private company became the owner of the irrigation canal system and was responsible for the control of the drainage systems and the metered delivery of water to their customers with the irrigators paying them for the water.
In the MIA, 130,000 hectares is irrigated over 3300 land holdings.
The remaining division, State Water, was a commercial business of the Department, responsible for rural bulk water supply, operating and managing their assets such as dams, weirs and associated structures in NSW.
Later other departments to be established in the old building were Leeton District Lands Department, a division of the Department of Finance & Services, NSW Office of Water and NSW Office of Environment.
Later NSW Department of Environment, Climate Change and Water appeared which was responsible for the states surface and groundwater resources.
It administered a diverse range of wetlands, and some of Australia’s rarest and most significant eco systems, plants, and animal life.
In 1999 the original building was listed on the NSW State Heritage Register as a fine example of the Art Deco period.
In 2010 State Water moved to new premises in Kurrajong Avenue along with fourteen of their staff. This new building was officially opened by the Hon Tony Catanzariti MLC, Leeton Mayor Paul Maytom, and State Water Executive Officer, Mr George Warne.
The Crown Lands closed in 2013 and the remaining departments continued until relocation in 2015 to Department of Primary Industries at the Yanco Agricultural Institute.
This resulted in the closure of the old building which was then put up for auction by Property NSW in 2015 and again in 2017 with no result.
This significant historical, State Heritage listed building sadly remains unoccupied.