Faced with the challenge of future changes in water availability, Murrumbidgee Irrigation had to understand better the hydraulics of their distribution networks to improve distribution efficiency but without compromising the best possible service to irrigators.
To do this, Murrumbidgee Irrigation Ltd (MI) engaged Adasa to implement a Decision Support System to improve the day to day system operation efficiency, to address short to medium term water and asset planning and to assess requests for water trading. Murrumbidgee Irrigation is one of the largest private irrigation companies in Australia serving over 3,200 landholdings owned by over 2,500 customers. The irrigation water and drainage services MI provides, has helped to create a diverse and highly productive agricultural region of 660,000 ha of which an average of 120,000 ha are irrigated annually.
Adasa designed and built the Murrumbidgee Irrigation Operation and Planning System (MIOPS) to respond to the needs of a complex delivery system driven by customer demand and which includes infrastructure that ranges from manually operated structures to remote manual operation and fully automated channels. Customer demand-driven irrigation systems require real time and/or simulated data to reduce the problems associated with reactive decision making.
“The innovative approach of the MIOPS project has been a significant step forward for MI’s Operational and Asset Planning teams. The improved data management and business intelligence will provide greater support to all business functions.”
Dave Gilbert, Executive Manager Planning, Murrumbidgee Irrigation
The key benefit of MIOPS has been to improve decision making by providing quick and easy access to information from various sources and gaining better knowledge of the scheme using virtual real-time and forecast information from simulation models. These sources of data include two separate scada systems, gauging station data loggers from the NSW Government and internal stations, satellite images, meteorological (weather and evapotranspiration) observations and forecasts from the Bureau of Meteorology and CSIRO, and data from MI’s own operational systems such as their water ordering and planning systems and customer data including allocations and geographical data on landholdings.
At the same time, enhanced data quality and consistency has improved customer service by providing tools to assess water trading requests and assist equitable water order scheduling to meet customer expectations and compliance with company water policies.
Maximised use of water diverted into the scheme, through better storage, capture and reuse, and by optimising the use of catchment runoff and of water resulting from miss-match of orders.
Improved operational and planning knowledge associated with water delivery, water scheduling and ordering, and water delivery infrastructure and maintenance.
Improved water demand forecast, which helps to optimise diversions and increase customer water availability and level of service supplied.
Enhanced asset planning and long-term demand forecasting.
Reduced business risk and water delivery risk during water shortages through better evaluation of impact of trading of delivery entitlements and flow rate share