WAROONA irrigators have thrown their support behind the $4m Harvey Water pipeline project, pledging 20 per cent of the project's costs.
Water saving would be the most immediate benefit, with the pipe system expected to save up to two gigalitres of water a year historically lost through seepage and run-off under the open channel system.
The first phase of the pipeline would be completed by April and provide irrigators with a 24-hour seven-days-a-week supply of water from the Drakesbrook dam under head pressure.
Harvey Water general manager Geoff Calder said sustainability was at the heart of the project. "This project is about delivering an environmentally responsible and sustainable irrigation environment," he said.
"The pipe scheme provides irrigators with easy access to more sustainable and efficient irrigation techniques such as sprinkle, trickle and T-Tape technology and so there is a strong incentive for irrigators to up-grade their existing surface irrigation systems.
"These more efficient watering systems also provide greater opportunity to diversify production into higher value agricultural options such as fruit and vegetables."
The project also received $250,000 in funding from the Dairy Regional Assistance Scheme, although Mr Calder said irrigator support was the key to the project's success.
"Clearly, our irrigators are committed to any activities that will enhance the environmental and financial sustainability of their farms and the region and this is a classic example of a project that will do just that," he said.
Once stage one of the Drakesbrook connection was complete, connections in the Waroona Central, Coronation/Buller roads, Hamel and Waroona north would follow, with a final completion date set down for 2003-4.