EXPANSION, repairs and maintenance are the aim of Murrumbidgee Irrigation's winter work program.
The initiative is spread across the entire MIA, including structures on the Main Canal and Sturt Canal, as well as on Lake Talbot, and repairs at Gum Creek Road and Mirrool Creek Escape.
The program is vital to deliver upgrades and maintenance to keep the water delivery infrastructure and systems operating as efficiently as possible throughout the year.
In delivering upgrades, MI is building on some key areas of strength that have been identified within MIA.
The Lake View Branch Canal (LVBC) expansion project will allow the irrigation development of some of the soils best suited to horticulture in the whole region.
The system needs to be ready to take advantage of water allocations as soon as they become available.
MI customer Jeff Emery welcomed the LVBC works.
"It's great to see the upgrade and improvement of existing irrigation infrastructure," he said.
"Irrigation is at the core of the MIA area, so any MI initiatives like the upgrade of the LVBC where further efficiencies are created, are a very welcome addition."
As always, a key focus is to minimise impacts to water supply for MI customers and ensure the safety of the community.
We are conscious that works can impact people who live, work and travel in the area and have in place a process to keep customers and affected community members informed well in advance.
The MI customer engagement team will be getting in touch with customers impacted by the works about their critical watering needs such as frost protection for citrus, and domestic access where there is no alternative water supply.
This year the major project in the eastern region, Murrami maintenance works, is already underway, preparing for future system expansion and automation works to modernise the water delivery system.
The works will also provide an opportunity to increase the capacity of channels in this area.
The major project in the western region is stage two of the LVBC expansion project, which includes the upgrade of regulators, bridges and escapes, and automation of outlets.
These works have been scheduled between May 24 and August 14 and will be completed in three stages.
Each stage is around three weeks, with a one-week watering opportunity for those customers in between those phases.