​Joint Media Release

Delivering water faster in the Southern Murray-Darling

Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources, David Littleproud
NSW Minister for Regional Water, Niall Blair


14 September 2018

  • Deal between Water NSW and Murray Irrigation Limited to bypass Barmah Choke
  • Mulwala Canal to benefit irrigators and environment by delivering water when it's needed.
  • 7700 irrigated farms in the Murray–Darling Basin contributing $7 billion to the economy

Irrigators downstream of Lake Mulwala, near Yarrawonga, will have a delivery issue fixed through a deal to use private infrastructure to deliver water.

Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources David Littleproud and NSW Minister for Regional Water Niall Blair welcomed the agreement between WaterNSW and Murray Irrigation Limited.

The deal will see the Mulwala canal used to transport water to irrigators faster and when they need it, where previously a narrow part of the Murray River alone was used which restricted delivery volumes and times.

Both the Murray River and the Mulwala canal will transport water under the new deal.

"The deal would unclog the system during times of heavy demand," Minister Littleproud said.

"The Murray has naturally narrowed downstream at the Barmah Choke, restricting water flow.

"This has made it difficult to deliver water reliably.

"Now downstream irrigators will get water when they need it."​

NSW Minister for Regional Water, Niall Blair praised the deal in giving vital flexibility to water river operators and water users.

"With the current drought conditions, water river operators need flexibility to reduce losses in the system" Mr Blair said.

"All water users, especially NSW irrigators, expect reliable water delivery.

"However, moving large volumes of water through a river system is a big and complex task, which has been made more difficult this year with the climatic conditions leading to major water losses within the Murray system.

"This agreement is great news in the lead up to summer when demand can peak, as it gives river operators another tool in the water delivery toolbox."​