Western Murray Irrigation to digitalise water supply to farmers

Siemens Ltd

Tuesday, 07 May, 2019

Western Murray Irrigation to digitalise water supply to farmers

Western Murray Irrigation (WMI) has selected Siemens to help digitalise the water supply to hundreds of farmers across an area of 5000 hectares — an investment that will support one of Australia’s most important horticultural regions.

In a $2 million deal, Siemens will supply 365 irrigation flow meters and telemetry systems, which will allow WMI to provide real-time monitoring and control of their entire irrigation system. According to WMI CEO Judith Damiani, it is an investment in the future for the Sunraysia region.

“Our priority is to sustain the horticultural producers who provide food, employment, economic and export benefits to our local region, state and Australia as a whole,” she said. “This new digital water infrastructure is critical to their ongoing success because it is accurate, efficient and will provide real-time data to help them make informed decisions.”

This places WMI irrigators at the forefront in implementation of on-farm irrigation management techniques. The new Siemens Mag8000 flow meters replace an ageing fleet of mechanical flow meters said Steve Skuse, project lead from Siemens.

“This new digital water system provides intelligence to optimise water supply and consumption,” he said.

The Siemens program is designed to assure best-in-class performance for leakage detection and accurate billing. It is seriously low maintenance, delivering long-term performance with minimal cost of ownership.

“The beauty of digitalising the irrigation system is that the new water meters have intelligent features built in,” Skuse said. “There is advanced display of information, on-site data collection and remote monitoring via communication networks. This means WMI and farmers will get all the information they need to optimise water supply.”

The solution provides an open communication platform to make network integration easy. It can be integrated into current farm irrigation systems, and it is open for upgrading to communication network platforms of the future, eliminating the need to re-invest in new water meters, or making a step-wise investment.

Engaging with local industry and the local community is an important part of this project according to Skuse.

“Part of the process was teaming with a local Mildura-based technology company, Datacall Telemetry, to supply the telemetry to make this project possible,” he continued. “We did extensive trials of the Siemens flow meters with Datacall’s telemetry system to prove the integrated solution. It’s been great to collaborate with a local business on such an important project.

“The combination of global and local know-how means a great outcome for the region.”

Siemens in partnership with WMI is managing the project with installation commencing in winter 2019.

Photos: WMI officers Terry Ryan, Laurie Angwin, local irrigator Brent Farnsworth and WMI CEO Judith Damiani.

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