Water users in Victoria’s north-west are set to receive upgraded drinking water suppliers, with the connection of the south-west Loddon pipeline to several Coliban Water treatment plants.
Water Minister Lisa Neville said the Korong Vale, Bridgewater and Laanecoorie water treatment plants would be connected as pipeline works progress northwest of Bendigo.
“The southwest Loddon Pipeline project will help to reduce demand on the Loddon River system while providing local communities with a more reliable and healthy water supply,” Ms Neville said.
“The region has been challenged by climate extremes over the past two decades, and projects like this are helping place communities and farmers in a better position to deal with ongoing dry conditions.”
She said some towns would transition to the new water source this year, with the rest moving over progressively in the next three years.
The connection would mean water users in Bridgewater, Inglewood, Korong Vale, Wedderburn, Laanecoorie, Dunolly, Tarnagulla and Bealiba would receive an improved and more reliable drinking water supply, with reduced organics and salinity levels.
It would also reduce water quality fluctuations seen with the current supply source.
The State government had contributed $40 million to the $80.6 million project, with Coliban Water continuing to work with construction manager Grampians Wimmera Mallee Water (GWMWater) to facilitate the connections.
When complete, the project would service 260 rural farming enterprises and 370 lifestyle properties over an area of 2,900 square kilometres, without a reticulated water supply.
A secure water supply to the south west Loddon area would deliver economic benefits by supporting activity and employment in the farming and intensive livestock sectors.
It would also reduce the current reliance on water carting and sustain the agricultural sector that underpinned the viability of the region.
The new water would be supplied from both the Goulburn and Grampians systems, via the South West Loddon and Wimmera Mallee Pipelines.
The construction of the south-west Loddon Pipeline is expected to be completed in the second half of 2019.