Extensive channel bank improvements are planned in Nanneella to ensure water continues to be delivered efficiently to local farmers for the next 80 years.
Goulburn-Murray Water (GMW) will soon carry out the first stage of works on the Rochester Number 2/11 Channel on Echuca-Nanneella Rd, about 17km south of Echuca.
Customer Service Manager Paul Cox said the works are essential to bring the channel up to standard.
“This channel was first constructed during the 1940s. Due to wear and tear over the years and vegetation in the channel, it is in poor condition and poses a safety risk. This means continued maintenance is required,” Mr Cox said.
“That’s why this channel bank remodeling is vital to keep things ticking over. We know irrigation-related activities impact directly on local industry and businesses, so it is important we ensure irrigators’ needs continue to be met now and into the future.”
The channel has a capacity of 70ML per day and supplies about 20 customers in the Nanneella area, which is largely horticulture, cropping and lifestyle properties.
The upgrade works will include 800m of inside bank remodelling, 3850m of rock armouring and 2040m of fencing.
Mr Cox said his team had been working closely with Campaspe Shire in preparation for the works.
“Some trees which grow along the channel banks will require removal to allow these essential works to take place,” he said.
“Those growing outside of the channel bank and outside of the works area will not be removed.”
Health, Safety and Environment Advisor Tim Dickinson said the trees had been assessed in accordance with GMW’s Code of Practice and with input from council.
“The code provides GMW planning permit exemption for removing native vegetation on our water utilities. Council is notified during this process and we work together to ensure minimal impacts to biodiversity,” Mr Dickinson said.
“The channel is eroding and without action, the trees are at risk of falling over or losing limbs which could damage the channel bank and endanger nearby traffic.”
Rochester-Campaspe Water Services Committee chairman Richard Anderson said the channel upgrades are necessary to provide farmers and property owners in the area with a reliable water supply into the future.
This is also supported by GMW customer surveys conducted in recent years in which feedback shows the number one customer concern is maintenance of the water delivery system to enable a reliable supply.
Drivers are encouraged to be aware of speed restrictions and traffic management in the Nanneella area during the works.