Sunraysia Water Efficiency Project (SWEP)

Creating a more efficient water delivery network across the Mildura, Red Cliffs and Merbein irrigation districts.

time In progress

Lower Murray Water (LMW) is delivering the Sunraysia Water Efficiency Project (SWEP), a modernisation project that will modernise and remove outdated water infrastructure in the Mildura, Red Cliffs, and Merbein irrigation districts.

The Project involves the upgrade of around 27 km of irrigation channel through the installation of channel liners. In addition, around 279 Dethridge wheels will be removed or upgraded, and 210 stock and domestic outlets will have modern flow meters installed.

Funding is being provided by the Australian Government to Lower Murray Water for delivery of the project.

Project benefits

The Project will provide many benefits to the Sunraysia region, including:

  • Further modernisation and rationalisation of assets in the Mildura, Red Cliffs, and Merbein irrigation districts, benefiting local growers.
  • Helping the Sunraysia district maintain its competitive advantage in the agri-food sector with more efficiency in its water delivery systems.
  • Bringing forward essential maintenance and upgrade works to maintain water supply and reduce interruptions, offsetting works that otherwise would have been funded through LMW rural customer charges.
  • Supporting more than 100 construction and delivery jobs for the region.
  • Generating an estimated regional GDP increase of more than $20 million.
  • Reducing the amount of salinity in the River Murray and surrounding topsoil caused by leaking channels.

This project will generate up to 2.5 GL of water savings by:

  • minimising channel leakage and seepage
  • more accurately measuring water used.

About the project

The SWEP builds on the success of the Sunraysia Modernisation Project and Sunraysia Modernisation Project 2 and aims to create a more efficient water delivery network across the Mildura, Red Cliffs and Merbein irrigation districts.

These works will increase the efficiency of water delivery for Lower Murray Water customers, remove redundant assets, extend the lifespan of irrigation infrastructure, and support the agricultural productivity of the region. For an overview of the project, see SWEP fact sheet.

Project updates

Project works are underway in Mildura. For the latest updates, see the May 2023 Project Update.

How to find out more

For any further questions, or to sign up for project updates, please email or phone 1800 808 830 and ask to speak to the SWEP team.

Winter Works 2023

Project works will start with channel lining in sections of Red Cliffs and Mildura districts in Winter 2023. Interruptions to water supply is necessary to allow for construction.

This channel work is being undertaken at the time of lowest irrigation demand to minimise impacts on growers.

To view the Winter works schedule for 2023, see irrigation season dates.

Please plan your water needs accordingly and, if you foresee any issues, contact us to discuss.

Pondage testing

Water in some parts of the Red Cliffs and Mildura channel networks will be unavailable for short periods at the end of May, due to testing works being carried out as part of the SWEP.

Referred to as “pondage testing”, this testing needs to be undertaken before and after lining of the channels to validate water savings.

Water will not be available as follows:

Red Cliffs:

  • James Pool                          16 May to 23 May (24 May filling)
  • Masons Pool                      16 May to 23 May (24 May filling)


  • Dewry Pool                         24 May to 31 May (1 June filling)
  • Wilkies Pool                        24 May to 31 May (1 June filling)                                                 
  • Lengs Pool                           24 May to 31 May (1 June filling)

If you have any questions or require any further information, please contact SWEP Operations and Surveillance Manager Christian Dingwall on 0429 858 525.