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The Wimmera Mallee Pipeline Project was one of the largest water infrastructure projects in Australia, replacing 17,500 kilometres of inefficient open channels with 9,159 kilometres of rural pipeline.

Construction of this great engineering feat commenced in November 2006 with the last pipe being laid in April 2010, well ahead of the 10 year timeframe originally proposed and within the $688 million project budget.  The pipeline was officially opened by then Premier of Victoria, John Brumby and then Minister for Water, Tim Holding, on 15 April 2010.

 

Benefits

The pipeline saves on average 103 billion litres of water a year and provides a continuous water supply to approximately 7,000 rural customers and 36 towns across the Wimmera and Mallee.  Thanks to the pipeline project, these customers now receive a high quality and reliable water supply.

More about the benefits of connecting to a rural pipeline .

 

Ambassadors

GWMWater has honoured 13 individuals who have made outstanding contributions towards securing the Wimmera Mallee Pipeline for our region. Completing the project would not have been possible without many years of sustained effort and advocacy by this group of committed pipeline ambassadors.

Peter Bishop The late Warren Goad  Jo Bourke 
Chris Hewitt Ross Davies The late Stewart Petering
Mary Fielding Roger Wrigley John Forrest MP
John Powell Darryl Argall Rob McKenzie
Dr Bruce Van Every Colin Jordan  

 

Milestones

A call for piping the Wimmera Mallee open channel system dates as far back as the 1890s.  Information about many of the key milestones is available below.

1890s 2002 2007
1992 2003 2008
1999 2004 2009
2000 2005 2010
2001 2006  
 

Further information...

 

Books about our water supply

Information about the history of our water supply and constructing the Wimmera Mallee Pipeline is available from these books and articles.

 

A history of our headworks - 'No Water No Life' series

The 'No Water No Life' series is an historic look at our headworks system.

 

The Historic Wimmera Mallee Channel System

The Wimmera Mallee Domestic and Stock Channel System, covering 2.9 million hectares, was one of the largest water supply systems in the world.

 

1890s

1890s. First call for piping  “Initiatives to promote pipelining of the channel system date back over one hundred years, with a Shire meeting in Dimboola first raising the benefits of pipelining in the 1890s.” Source – Nine Creeks to Albacutya, A history of Dimboola Shire.

 

1992

1992. Construction of Northern Mallee Pipeline starts

 

1999

November 12, 1999. Horsham Rural City Council supports Wimmera Mallee councils in their push for a $250,000 feasibility study to pipe the Wimmera-Mallee channel system.

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2000

January 7, 2000. Wimmera business advocate Ross Haby believes the region is missing out on potential industries because it lacks a piped water supply. Mr Haby says a push by local government for piping should continue as water is the ‘key economic’ driver’ for the region in the future.

January 19, 2000. Wimmera Mallee Pipeline steering committee plans to take its case to state ministers in mid-February. The group says an implementation study to examine the viability and uses of extending piping into this region is absolutely critical. 

March 8, 2000. Wimmera Mallee Piping steering committee delegates tell Deputy Prime Minister John Anderson that piping the Wimmera-Mallee’s water supply will benefit jobs, the economy and the environment. In addition to lobbying for a state government contribution, the committee asks the Federal Government to provide money for part of the $250,000 implementation study to examine the viability and uses of piping.

April 26, 2000. Member for Wimmera Hugh Delahunty discusses piping the Wimmera-Mallee region with federal National Party politicians at the Nationals annual conference in Bendigo. Mr Delahunty says he is encouraged by their responses and will continue lobbying.

June 30, 2000. The Federal Government commits $110,000 toward a feasibility study into piping the Wimmera Mallee channel system. The State Government has matched the federal contribution for the study, which will cover 1.5 million hectares and 6000 kilometres of existing open channels.

December 18, 2000. Wimmera people voice their concerns to consultants preparing a feasibility study for piping the Wimmera-Mallee pipeline. They list security of water supply for farms and towns, development opportunities, recreational and social issues and environmental flows as important water issues.

October 20, 2000. Melbourne consultants Sinclair Knight Merz start a Wimmera-Mallee pipeline feasibility study. The study region extends from Lake Tyrrell in the north to Tooloondo Reservoir in the south, and from Quambatook in the east to Rainbow, Jeparit and Dimboola in the west. An extended ‘impact’ zone to share benefits of the proposed pipeline covers Nhill, Kaniva, Edenhope, Stawell, Ararat, St Arnaud and Wedderburn districts.

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2001

February 14, 2001. Feasibility study into a piped water system for Wimmera and southern Mallee completed. The former Wimmera Mallee Water authority commissioned the study. Consultants estimate piping the rest of the Wimmera-Mallee domestic and stock water supply system could save 85,000 megalitres in water lost through seepage.

June 6, 2001. Wimmera Mallee Water board approves a proposal to pipe the Wimmera-Mallee water supply system.

June 11, 2001. An eight-month feasibility study into piping the Wimmera Mallee channel system identifies huge water savings supplied largely from Lake Bellfied and Taylors Lake.

June 15, 2001. Senior Federal Government Regional Services Minister Ian Macdonald pledges support to campaign for funds to pipe the region. He says the region cannot continue to afford the massive water waste on environmental and economic grounds.

June 20, 2001. Member for Gippsland East Craig Ingram lends support to the Wimmera Mallee piping proposal. Mr Ingram, who successfully campaigned for an increased Snowy River flow, says Wimmera people must convince governments to pipe the region because of the all-round value piping provides.

July 4, 2001. Retired Wimmera Mallee Water chairman Dr Goff Letts says that 100,000 megalitres of wastage a year is unacceptable and that a Wimmera Mallee pipeline would be a solution. Campaigners will now pound the doors of federal and state politicians during a three-month blitz to win support for piping the Wimmera-Mallee channel system. Steering committee chairman Stewart Petering said the hard work was now to come, but with water savings so enormous, previous wastage and losses was highlighted. The committee aims to send deputations to Canberra and Melbourne and plans community briefings in regional centres.

July 13, 2001. A leading water expert, Wimmera Catchment Management Authority waterways manager Paul Atherton, announces that wildlife and tourism will benefit from the increased water flow that the proposed Wimmera-Mallee pipeline would create.

July 17, 2001. Member for Wimmera Hugh Delahunty highlights the need to pipe the Wimmera-Mallee at the annual conference of the Parliamentary Environment Committees in Canberra.

July 18, 2001. Piping project leaders brief Environment and Conservation Minister, Sherryl Garbutt in Melbourne.

July 20, 2001. Premier Steve Bracks visits the Wimmera for the first time as state leader. Kiata farmer Darryl Argall highlights the region’s proposal to pipe the Wimmera Mallee open channel system.

July 20, 2001. A Queensland-based company will investigate how a piped Wimmera Mallee water supply might bolster its plans for mineral sands mines in Rupanyup and Donald districts.

July 27, 2001. State Government Minister Keith Hamilton pledges his support for the pipeline, saying it is ‘logical’ and ‘crucial’.

July 30, 2001. Four major engineering firms are investigating opportunities that could arise if piping becomes reality.

August 1, 2001. National Party’s water resources and agricultural spokesman Barry Steggall leads a forum regarding the proposed pipeline.

August 3, 2001. Wimmera Indigenous Australians announces that it supports the pipeline.

August 8, 2001. Wimmera Development Association spokeswoman Jo Bourke announces that the pipeline committee is seeking high profile people like football great Tim Watson and musician John Williamson to lend their voice to the campaign.

August 10, 2001. Acting Prime Minister John Anderson is lobbied by piping campaigners during a visit to the Wimmera.

August 15, 2001. Deputy Prime Minister John Anderson raises hopes that the Wimmera-Mallee pipeline is nearing a reality when he visits the Wimmera. He is heartened by the commitment of civic and business leaders. Steering committee members Darryl Argall and Stewart Petering meet with Mr Anderson, and tell him that 13 shires back the much-needed project.

August 22, 2001. Member for Wimmera Hugh Delahunty wins State Government assurance that it will raise the piping proposal with the Federal Government.

August 23, 2001. Piping campaigners, led by committee chairman Stewart Petering, outline a plan to pipe the Wimmera-Mallee channels at briefings with Victorian Parliament in Melbourne.

August 29, 2001. A piping delegation knocks on politicians’ doors in Canberra to hammer home the need to pipe the north-west’s water channels. Led by Stewart Petering, the five-strong group meets with senior politicians from all parties. The group is keen to win commitment for piping from the Federal Government and Opposition before the next election.

September 5, 2001. The pipeline steering committee, made up of local water authority members, is summoned to meet Premier Steve Bracks at Parliament House in Melbourne.

September 14, 2001. Tim Watson and Lauren Hewitt lend their voices to the Wimmera Mallee ‘pipe it’ campaign. They are both part of a Melbourne launch of the campaign, with Watson saying the equivalent of 49 Melbourne Cricket Grounds full to the top of the Great Southern Stand is lost to seepage and evaporation in the open channel and dam systems every year.

September 21, 2001. The Australian Broadcasting Corporation presents a feature on Stateline on the region’s water crisis. Local campaigners and footage are featured.

October 24, 2001. Hindmarsh Shire councillor Darryl Argall lashes out at federal politicians for failing to commit money to pipe the Wimmera-Mallee.

October 31, 2001. Piping steering committee pushes for a start on detailed planning for the Wimmera Mallee Pipeline, saying plans will provide federal and state governments and other piping supporters with a sound basis for future funding commitments.

November 5, 2001. Piping crusader and Minyip farmer Stewart Petering is honoured as Wimmera Mallee Water citizen of the year.

December 12, 2001. State opposition leader Denis Napthine pledges to tell Prime Minister John Howard that piping the Wimmera-Mallee open water channels is a priority, in a one-on-one interview early in the new year.

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2002

March 1, 2002. Member for Wimmera Hugh Delahunty uses the first day of State Parliament’s autumn session to press for government cash for the pipeline project. Mr Delahunty will lead a delegation from the piping steering committee to meet federal parliamentarians.

March 2, 2002. Member for Mallee John Forrest urges people to sign a petition to federal and state governments supporting piping of the Wimmera Mallee. The petition letter is part of a ‘pipe or perish’ campaign taking place in the Wimmera Mail Times.

March 6, 2002. Wimmera sporting export, Tim Watson, continues to lend his support to the piping campaign. Watson, who learnt to swim in the Wimmera River at Dimboola, says he will do all he can to raise the profile of the piping campaign as he can see its importance to the region. As part of his support, Watson launches a ‘Pipe It’ bumper sticker at the Wimmera Machinery Field Days.

March 11, 2002. A Wimmera-Mallee piping delegation lobbies Federal Government ministers in Canberra to include the project in the next federal budget. Led by Stewart Petering, the delegation is confident the government will support the project. Hindmarsh Shire Council has told Prime Minister John Howard of its strong support to pipe the Wimmera-Mallee open channel system.

March 13, 2002. Member for Mallee John Forrest meets with Prime Minister John Howard to further advance the campaign to pipe the Wimmera Mallee. Mr Forrest says there is substantial backing from Deputy Prime Minister John Anderson, Heritage Minister David Kemp and Fisheries and Forestry Minister Warren Truss, but it would be nice to get ‘the boss’ on board.

March 15, 2002. The Hamilton Spectator and Buloke Times join the ‘pipe it’ push by publishing a Wimmera Mail-Times petition letter addressed to federal and state parliamentarians. Signed copies of the letter are flooding into collection points across the region.

March 18, 2002. Victorian Treasurer John Brumby urges Wimmera-Mallee water piping campaigners to ‘keep the faith’ with the approach of the state budget. Although refusing to commit financial support, he says a report on the project is with the State Government and was being ‘actively considered’.

April 5 2002. Campaigners lobbying federal and state governments to step up with money for piping the Wimmera-Mallee channels are told two federal ministers will visit the Wimmera in early July for a closer look at the proposal.

April 8, 2002. Steering committee members forge on with the next phase of planning the Wimmera-Mallee pipeline in anticipation of government support in the federal and state budgets. The group plans information sessions, noting concerns of farmers and communities.

April 26, 2002. Pipeline steering committee delivers letters representing 24,000 voices and a petition to Prime Minister John Howard, calling for piping of the Wimmera-Mallee. This presentation features on major television and radio bulletins. Piping steering committee members feel they received a good reception from a busy PM and although there was no commitment, there was a good appreciation and understanding of details of the project.

May 8, 2002. The State Government challenges the Federal Government to match contributions for piping the Wimmera-Mallee.

May 10, 2002. Detailed planning of piping of the Wimmera-Mallee will go ahead after the federal budget commits $3.5 million to allow planners to design the pipe network. The planning stage will include detailed community consultations.

May 13, 2002. Victorian Premier Steve Bracks attends a community barbeque at Green Lake to celebrate the state’s $77 million commitment to the $300 million piping project. The state government’s commitment is conditional on matching federal money. Mr Bracks congratulates piping campaigners, singling out piping committee chairman Stewart Petering and his committee.

May 17, 2002. Member for Mallee John Forrest says the Prime Minister and Deputy Prime Minister have committed $7.5 million to the pipeline project, but warns that long-term federal funding is subject to confirmation of final design.

May 22 2002. Grampians Water chief executive Peter McManamon applauds the State Government for its $77-million contribution to the pipeline project, but warns that water pricing in the region needs to be addressed.

May 24, 2002. Leading Victorian angling spokesman and Wimmera Anglers Association president Rob Loats announces that he backs the pipeline project. However, he says that water needs to be available for the environment as well as for recreation purposes and urges people not to forget the impact that anglers have on the local economy.

May 29, 2002. The pipeline gains state-wide publicity at a State of Water Summit in Melbourne’s Parliament House where Wimmera Catchment Management Authority chairwoman Jo Bourke is a keynote speaker.

May 31, 2002. Pipeline campaigners charter a helicopter for Federal Environment Minister David Kemp and Federal Innovation Minister Peter McGauran to see a complete aerial view of the area to be piped.

June 3, 2002. Delegates at a Country Women’s Association state conference call for governments to back the pipeline project.

June 3, 2002. Horsham Rural City Council Mayor Roslyn MacInnes says the pipeline could be the answer to fairy grass problems at district lakes.

June 7, 2002. Federal shadow ministers meet in Stawell for a public consultation on the project and meet with pipeline campaigners, community groups, Victorian Farmers Federation representatives and Northern Grampians Shire Council officials.

June 14, 2002. Victorian Farmers Federation district council members seek a say in piping planning. A resolution is made to form a project planning group which would have ample representation and make substantial contributions to the project.

June 17, 2002. State Government Minister for Environment and Conservation Sherryl Garbutt announces that a community based steering committee will play a key role in managing the Wimmera-Mallee Pipeline Project. 

November 2002. Pipeline Project Planning Group (PPG) engages a dedicated project manager Dr John Powell to oversee the project.

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2003

March 2003. Engineering consultant, Connell Wagner, is appointed as the lead consultant to develop a Business Case and design the pipeline system.  June/July 2003 Eleven workshops throughout the region over two weeks seeking views on pipeline system design are attended by more than 900 people.

October 2003. Another 12 meetings present details of the pipeline system and seek views from 550 people.

December 2003. Business Case confirms the Wimmera Mallee Pipeline Project will generate significant benefits to the natural environment, both within the region and to the Murray River. It will generate 5000 new jobs in the long term, a high quality water supply and a major expansion in tourism.

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2004

August 16, 2004. Five influential organisations join a Water in Drylands program to advance the pipeline project and help the community decide best use of available water.

September 2004. Final Business Case released.

September 10, 2004. Wimmera organisations band together to lobby for piping in the lead-up to the federal election. They appoint regional ambassadors to seek piping commitments from major political parties.

September 15, 2004. Deputy Prime Minister John Anderson makes funding announcement in Mildura. [image right]

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2005

June 2005. More than 600 people attend 15 pipeline community information sessions.

June 24, 2005. State and federal governments jointly launch the Wimmera Mallee Pipeline Project on the banks of the Wimmera River in Horsham after agreeing on funding arrangements as part of the National Water Initiative.

August 5, 2005. Member for Mallee John Forrest challenges the State Government to help build the Wimmera Mallee Pipeline in half its scheduled time. He said the project was too urgent to wait 10 years for water for communities desperate for a piped supply.

August 8, 2005. GWMWater assures Northern Grampians Shire Council that Rich Avon Weir will stay following construction of the Wimmera Mallee Pipeline. The weir is used to supply Lake Batyo Catyo in good seasons.

August 8, 2005. The State Government says it plans to stick to its original agreement to build the Wimmera Mallee Pipeline over a 10-year period.

August 30, 2005. GWMWater seeks applications from interested people to fill positions on a new pipeline community reference group.

August 31, 2005. Brim farmer Warren Goad, a member of the Wimmera Mallee Pipeline Community Steering Committee, passes away suddenly. Mr Goad was instrumental in developing the pipeline project, playing roles on sub-committees, the rural farm group, recreation water group and environment group.

August 31, 2005. GWMWater holds industry briefing sessions in Horsham and Melbourne to detail latest developments to potential contractors for the pipeline project.

September 2005. Work starts on the Wimmera Mallee Pipeline. First pipes are laid at Delleys Bridge, Halls Gap. The first stage of the pipeline will take two years with the entire project anticipated to take up to 10 years.

October 19, 2005. GWMWater announces the Wimmera Mallee Pipeline Ambassadors Group of Peter Bishop, Jo Bourke, Chris Hewitt, Ross Davies, Stewart Petering, Mary Fielding, Roger Wrigley, John Forrest MP, Dr John Powell and the late Warren Goad.

October 21, 2005. Nine inaugural members are selected to form the Wimmera Mallee Pipeline Community Advisory Group. They are: Jan Chivell, John Noone, Debbie Borden, Robert Loats, Lyn Boyle, Gary Aitken, Ross Cook, Denise McLellan and David Drage.

November 11, 2005. First pipes for the Wimmera Mallee Pipeline Project laid at Halls Gap. To fit in with the timing of other major project work at Halls Gap, GWMWater installed almost 300 metres of trunk pipeline at Delleys Bridge and Brambuk Cultural Centre carpark.

November 28, 2005. Pipeline is back on track after the State Government recommits to the project by confirming all of its $167-million is new money, not including money already spent in the Patchewollock and Cannie Ridge areas.

November/December 2005. A second round of Piping It! community information sessions are held in 15 centres around the region.

December 8, 2005. GWMWater announces a major review of the future use of reservoirs and other in-stream assets with key stakeholder groups.

December 14, 2005. The new Wimmera Mallee Pipeline Community Reference Group holds its first meeting at Warracknabeal, with discussions on construction starting time and how water savings will be allocated.

December 8, 2005. GWMWater announces a major review of the future use of reservoirs and other in-stream assets with key stakeholder groups.

December 14, 2005. The new Wimmera Mallee Pipeline Community Reference Group holds its first meeting at Warracknabeal, with discussions on construction starting time and how water savings will be allocated.

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2006

January 24, 2006. The latest Wimmera Mallee Pipeline Project information hits the world stage with the launch of a new website.

January 27, 2006. GWMWater receives 25 submissions on a range of issues associated with the future operation of the 12 major water supply reservoirs.

February 21, 2006. New pipeline project manager, Clive Perrett announces his vision for the Wimmera Mallee – to fill Lake Hindmarsh, see the Wimmera River flowing again and restore prosperity to communities in the northern Wimmera and southern Mallee.

February 24, 2006. GWMWater announces a team of skilled professionals to drive the Wimmera Mallee Pipeline Project. The GWMWater pipeline group will be set up in offices in Kalkee Road, Horsham.

February 27, 2006. Hindmarsh Mayor, Darryl Argall urges entrepreneurs to move quickly to explore opportunities and prepare business plans for a positive future as a result of piping of the region.

March 8, 2006. Consultants Sinclair Knight Merz warn of potential cost blow-outs for the Wimmera Mallee Pipeline Project. Politicians respond angrily to these reports.

March 20, 2006. Hindmarsh Shire Council concerned at being expected to pay for new fire-fighting facilities included in the pipeline project.

March 22, 2006. The pipeline project provides new career paths for young people in the Wimmera.

March 24, 2006. Pipeline leaders encourage businesses to start considering how they can capitalise on the largest water infrastructure project the region has ever undertaken.

March 29, 2006. Tender information pack available for prospective tenderers from the Piping It website.

May 31, 2006. GWMWater calls for tenders for stage one of the Wimmera Mallee Pipeline Project.

June 7, 2006. GWMWater has hosted community celebrations in Rainbow, Jeparit and Dimboola to mark the opening of regional Piping It offices as part of stage one of the pipeline project.

July 14, 2006. Tenders close for stage one of the project.

August 1, 2006. Parliamentary Secretary for the Environment Elaine Carbines opens the Wimmera Mallee Pipeline Project’s Horsham office.

September 5 – 14, 2006. Landholder liaison meetings were held in Supply System 5, based around Berriwillock and Culgoa, seeking landholder input into preliminary design for the pipeline.

October 20, 2006. Victorian Minister for Water John Thwaites, and Parliamentary Secretary to the Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull, announced the successful contractor for the first stage of construction, at a ceremony in Halls Gap.

November 20, 2006. Drilling under the Longerenong Road, adjacent to the proposed Longerenong pump station, was the first construction activity under the contract for Supply System 1.

November 27, 2006. Trenching and laying of 450mm PVC pipes commenced at Dooen

December 24, 2006. 60 kilometres of pipeline laid, including 450mm trunk, and 100, 80 and 50mm distribution pipeline.

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2007

January 22, 2007. Stock-piling and stringing of cement lined steel pipe for Bellfield – Taylors Lake route commenced.

March 4, 2007. 500 kilometres of pipeline ‘in the ground’ in Supply Systems 1 and 7, including about 15 kilometres of steel trunk, PVC trunk towards Antwerp and  distribution network proceeding north and east from Dimboola.

May 3, 2007. Federal Water Minister Malcolm Turnbull and Victorian Water Minister John Thwaites jointly announced the approval of construction of the Supply System 2 (Woomelang) trunk. The trunk will supply Jung, Warracknabeal, Brim, Beulah, Hopetoun, Lascelles and Woomelang, as well as providing water-carting points for farmers. The fast-tracking of the construction is a direct response to the drought conditions in the region.

June 27, 2007. Contract for the supply of pipes and construction of Supply System 5 (Culgoa) is awarded to Nacap.

August 22, 2007. 1000 kilometres of pipeline ‘in the ground’ in Supply Systems 1, 5 and 7.

August 23, 2007. “Farming with Pipes” Expo held at Longerenong, trade displays, demonstrations and workshops to assist landowners with on farm reticulation system design and implementation.

August 23, 2007. Launch of the online farm mapping, providing one-meter contour data and aerial photography to assist landowners with on farm reticulation.

October 12, 2007. Announcement of the service connection (tapping and metering) for Supply Systems 1 & 5 to local contractor, Mintern Civil.

October 12, 2007. Victorian Minister for Water Hon Tim Holding and Federal Member for Mallee “turned on” the trunk main at Rainbow. Water, sourced from Taylors Lake and pumped by the Longerenong Pump Station. A function, held at the Rainbow storage, recognised the initial flow of water in Supply System 1, fast tracked to provide water for towns and the water-carting program.

December 3, 2007. Emergency supply ‘turned on’ in Supply System 1 for farms in Zones 13, 14, 29 & 32. Intermittent supply will be progressively available as zones are pressure tested and meters installed.

December 5, 2007. All pipelines are installed in Supply System 5 (Culgoa) – 826 kilometres ‘in the ground’ with pressure testing, meter installation, construction of storages and pump stations continuing.

December 17, 2007. Tender documents for Supply Systems 3 and 4 distributed to contractors, proposing May 2008 commencement of construction.

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2008

January 22, 2008. Over 2,500 kilometres of pipeline is ‘in the ground’ consisting of the completion of pipelines in Supply System 1 and Supply System 5, and the commencement of Supply System 2.

April 28, 2008. Mitchell Water and GWMWater sign the contract for the construction of Supply System 3 (Birchip) and Supply System 4 (Wycheproof). This section of pipeline will be approximately 3,500km long, includes 10 new storages and will generate 35,770 megalitres of water savings.

May 8, 2008. Online mapping tool now incorporates SS3 and SS4 data to assist landowners with onfarm planning. Data includes contour information, aerial photography and general land data, accessible at allotment level.

June 2, 2008. Call for information from landowners to inform channel decommissioning planning. GWMWater calls for landowners not to fill in channels without permission.

June 6, 2008. Over 4,000 kilometres of pipeline has been installed. SS1, SS7 and SS5 pipeline is fully installed, SS2 over 80% ‘in the ground’ and SS3 commenced. Storage levels at 3.5% have focussed the regional community on the pipeline progress.

July, 2008. Works suspended in SS3 and SS4 following apparent breach of the Aboriginal Heritage Act. Cultural Heritage Management Plan approved within two weeks, enabling resumption of works.

October 1, 2008. Five businesses requested to tender for the final construction stage – SS6.

October 20, 2008. Premier John Brumby announces 5,000 kilometres milestone achieved, during Community Cabinet meetings in the Wimmera. A farm visit to Rob McRae’s property at Wallup demonstrated the onfarm infrastructure and use of WMPP water.

October 24, 2008. Construction of the SS3 and 4 steel main trunk commences adjacent to Taylors Lake. Scheduling of these works is advanced due to the continuing drought conditions and the need to access water in the eastern part of the region.

November 26, 2008. The contract for the installation of SS3 and SS4 meters and tapping points is awarded to Mintern’s. There are an estimated 4,000 meters to be installed.

November 28, 2008. Essential Services Commission release the final decision on the rural pipeline tariff for 2008-9.

December 5, 2008. Mitchell Australia is awarded the contract to construct the final section of the Wimmera Mallee Pipeline – Supply System 6 (Natimuk).

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2009

February 2009. Emergency water supply to Supply Systems 3 and 4 towns and rural customers whose meters have been installed.

May 2009. Water supply to recreation lakes – Green Lake near Sea Lake and Tchum Lake as a result of water savings from the WMPP.

September 2009. Water supply to Lake Lascelles (Hopetoun) from savings achieved by the WMPP.

December 2009. Natimuk township supplied with water via the WMPP.

January 16, 2009. Preliminary research by WIDCORP into potential energy savings for the operation of the WMPP identifies that up to a 20% reduction may be achievable, matching water demand and energy efficiencies.

February 10, 2009. Mitchell Australia commences construction of the final section of the Wimmera Mallee Pipeline – Supply System 6 (Natimuk), with pipes laid near Clear Lake.

February 12, 2009. 6,000 kilometres of pipe have been laid.

February 27, 2009. With the testing of the steel trunk connection for SS3 to the Lake Bellfield supply, landownrs are able to access emergency water supply as meters are installed. This replaces the water carting program for these customers. Variable pressures and minor interruptions to supply as works continue on storages and pump stations.

March 31, 2009. 7,000 kilometres of pipe have been laid.

June 18, 2009. Australian Research Council grant to optimise performance of pipeline operations, in collaboration with Ballarat University and University of Melbourne.

July 7, 2009. Final service connection (SS6) contract awarded to Mintern Civil.

July 14, 2009. WMPP awarded Australian Business Award 2009 – Environmental Sustainability.

July 22, 2009. Contractors commence removal of culverts and decommissioning of channels on road reserves in SS1 and SS5.

July 31, 2009. Pipelaying works formally suspended until the end of September due to wet conditions. Works continue on storages, pump stations, hydrotesting and service connections.

September 21, 2009. Water flows into Lake Lascelles at Hopetoun, as part of the recreation water allocation from WMPP water savings.

September 30, 2009. Pipelaying resumes following wet weather interuption.

October 12, 2009. Water restrictions are eased From Stage 4 to Stage 1 for towns and farms in SS1, SS2 and SS5.

October 11, 2009. Recreation water has been allocated to the Warracknabeal Weir Pool, building on the current low stormwater levels to provide improved recreation opportunity for the region.

October 16, 2009. 8,000 kilometres of pipeline laid (approximately 800 kilometres left).

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2010

January 2010. Piped water making water carting history.

February 2010. Customers in Supply System 6, Zones 1 to 4 able to access emergency supply water as meters are installed.

March 30, 2010. Last pipe laid! 9,159 kms of pipeline in the ground.

April 15, 2010. Official Opening of the WMPP by The Hon John Brumby Premier or Victoria, Senator Jacinta Collins, Water Minister Tim Holding and Agriculture Minister Joe Helper. Celebrations were held at Horsham Soundshell in front of a large crowd.

May 2010. Emergency water supply to Supply System 6, Zones 5 to 8 available to customers with a meter connected to the system.

June 2010. New Brimpaen storages filled with water from Lake Wartook.

August 2010. Customers in Supply Systems 3, 4 and 6 able to access full pipeline supply.

September 2010. Taylors Lake Pump Station commissioned.

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