From the CEO
Congratulations to the Hon. Sussan Ley MP for retaining the NSW seat of Farrer at the recent Federal Election. Sussan’s commitment to irrigation communities is much appreciated.
Despite the record dry and warm conditions (summer and March being the warmest on record for Australia), the NSW Government’s 15 May 2019 allocation statement indicated a 97 percent allocation for NSW Murray High Security on 1 July 2019.
Unfortunately, 99.9 percent of NSW remains in drought. Some of the north and western valleys have entered cease to flow conditions. Flows in the northern NSW tributaries are the lowest on record over the last two years.
The Lower Darling is at the maximum Stage 4 drought criticality with the Menindee Lakes system at record low levels of only 1 percent full.
Water issues have been partly responsible for changes in the NSW political landscape and we congratulate Helen Dalton on her election as the new Member for Murray. It’s the first time the Shooters, Fishers & Farmers Party have held the seat.
Congratulations also to the Hon Melinda Pavey MP who has been appointed as the new Water Minister. Interestingly, water and agriculture have been separated in the new ministerial arrangements with the Hon Adam Marshall MP taking on the Agriculture and Western NSW portfolios. Not so interesting is perhaps another change in departments for water!
The warm conditions to the end of March 2019 have pushed the volume of water pumped by WMI 8 percent higher than the five-year average.
Investing in the future
WMI is pleased to announce $3.3 million in capital investments and upgrades over the next two years, as follows:
- Meter upgrade and telemetry project in partnership with Siemens and Datacall; and
- Back-up generators for Coomealla pump and re-lift stations.
There are several smaller projects which are also underway in 2019 including:
- Water quality treatment (low-dose hydrogen peroxide) commencing mid-April; and
- Installation of a 50KW solar system at the office and depot, with a pay-back period of 2.5 years.
WMI will continue to monitor the feasibility of solar power for our supply infrastructure, with the longer term aim of managing a (lower-cost and more reliable) hybrid solar/diesel power generation system.
Fresh new look coming soon…
Look out for the fresh new website and newsletter launching soon, as WMI prepares to commemorate its 25th Anniversary later this year!