GWMWater receives Wimmera-Mallee Pipeline connection interest

WIMMERA water authority GWMWater has received a trickle of interest from people wishing to tap into the Wimmera-Mallee Pipeline.

The authority has called for expressions of interest from potential new customers wishing to connect to the pipeline. 

Customer relations manager Helen Friend said the authority had received about 20 new submissions.

The submissions were in addition to 450 landowners who lodged an expression of interest during pipeline construction.

Some have pulled out because of ‘astronomical’ costs.

Ms Friend said submissions were from landowners throughout the region.

“Most commonly, submissions are from people around the perimeters of the area serviced by the Wimmera-Mallee Pipeline,” she said.

“No date has been established for when submissions close.”

Ms Friend said once an expression of interest was received, the authority would talk to the landowner about the costs involved in connecting their property.

“This includes the cost of purchasing a water allocation and any new infrastructure requirements, such as pipeline extensions, what they are required to pay for,” she said.

“If the customer is still interested in proceeding with the connection, we do an hydraulic assessment to make sure the pipeline can supply the volume of water required.

“If this is okay, we go ahead and connect the property.”

Last month, Rainbow district farmers were disappointed to learn the cost of connecting to the pipeline.

GWMWater’s initial costings priced a new pipeline to service all farmers in the Pella district at $980,000, a cost which would be largely paid by landowners.

Farmer Michael Eckermann said the pipeline, which would service 20 farmers, would not go ahead because of the prohibitive cost.

“We were disappointed they came up with such an astronomical figure,” he said. 

Authority spokesman Andrew Rose said connecting to the pipeline was a user-pays system.

“All new customers have to contribute their portion,” he said.

Authority managing director Mark Williams said people could lodge an expression of interest to Max Burns at GWMWater, PO Box 481, Horsham 3402 or call 1300 659 961 for more information.

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