Showcasing irrigation changes

October 05, 2017

Brian Williams and Robert Osborne outside G-MW's Tatura office with the new installations.

Two new water features have been installed outside Goulburn-Murray Water’s head office in Tatura, which demonstrate the advances in irrigation technology.

The familiar rocky water feature, which runs the length of the building facade at 40 Casey St, has been updated with an example of the old Dethridge water wheel and a new technology, a flume gate.

‘‘Dethridge wheels have been a staple of G-MW irrigation for decades,’’ G-MW corporate facilities manager Robert Osborne said.

‘‘They are now being phased out to make way for more efficient means of delivering water.’’

Tatura Irrigation Museum volunteer Brian Williams said Dethridge wheels had been the main form of irrigation during his working life.

‘‘I was 60 before I started dairying, and we had beef and sheep before that,’’ Mr Williams said.

‘‘We had five outlets on our 126ha farm, and then about four years ago we changed over (to flume gates).

‘‘I was fairly sceptical at first. Farmers tend to want to have control and this change was taking that away.

‘‘But my fears soon dissipated. On the whole I thought it was great — it saved time and it meant I didn’t have to get up in the middle of the night,’’ Mr Williams said of the new technology.

G-MW managing director Pat Lennon hopes the new water features will clearly show how far irrigation advancements have come.

‘‘We’re constantly seeking and embracing innovation to help us deliver water more efficiently and help farmers in our region continue to be productive and sustainable,’’ Mr Lennon said.

‘‘The Connections project is a key driver for this.

‘‘It’s an exciting time to be in the irrigation industry.’’

G-MW stores, manages and delivers about 70 per cent of the state’s stored water, and 50 per cent of underground water, to a region of 68000sqkm.

This includes management of 24 lakes, dams and reservoirs in northern Victoria.

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