Sunraysia Water Efficiency Project contractors have held up well to the scrutiny of nearly 400 “Junior Pipeline Inspectors” during a recent visit from the Nichols Point Primary School.

Lower Murray Water (LMW) is proud to be delivering the Sunraysia Water Efficiency Project (SWEP), a crucial initiative modernising irrigation infrastructure across the Mildura, Merbein, and Red Cliffs irrigation districts in Victoria’s far northwest. The water-saving project, funded by the Australian Government to the tune of $37.9 million, is all about delivering long-term benefits for Sunraysia’s irrigators.

One of the biggest challenges of this project involves navigating the inevitable disruption caused by upgrading the irrigation channels. To minimise this impact, the LMW project team has strategically scheduled most of the major works to occur in the winter months when irrigation needs are lowest.

Given the project will have some short-term impacts on the local community through restricting access to water, traffic management, and accessing private land to undertake the works, clear communication and building trust with the community has been paramount throughout the project.

Regular updates through newsletters, media, emails, calls, SMS, and property visits have kept customers and community informed throughout the project, including the winter shutdown periods, when water supply is interrupted. At the heart of the planned works, in the Nichols Point community, the team wanted to do something more.

From classrooms to construction site

Nichols Point Primary School is the neighbour to one of channels undergoing works as part of the SWEP.

The channel is immediately next the primary school. For many years, the school and LMW have been in discussions about removing the channel, to remove the risk of having an open channel next to the school, and to better connect the space between the school and the local oval.

This is being made possible by the SWEP, which is replacing the channel with a buried pipeline.

The proximity of the works also presents an opportunity to connect with the next generation of water professionals. The LMW project team organised an interactive event for the school, transforming nearly 400 students from Prep to Grade 6 into “Junior Pipeline Supervisors.”

The students were gifted embroidered fluoro vests which they donned as they embarked on a walking tour, led by the LMW team, to gain firsthand experience of the construction works. This engaging incursion helped them understand the project’s purpose and its importance for Sunraysia’s water future.

An event for the local community

To ensure the learning didn’t stop at vests and tours for school aged children, the LMW project team hosted an afternoon event for the whole local community at Nichols Point Oval, adjacent to the primary school and the project worksite.

The students brought along their adults, siblings, and members from across the local community to partake in a sausage sizzle, bury their own PVC pipe sections in a giant sand “construction” site, have their faces painted – and of course, to speak with LMW about the project. The LMW project team also brought in some of the project’s mighty machinery, turning the community oval into a giant playground for curious minds to explore.

The event was a resounding success and a positive investment in community relationships. The LMW team was impressed by the students’ genuine interest and respectful behaviour, while the students revelled in the unique opportunity to learn and play.

These positive interactions fostered goodwill within the community, as evidenced by the smiles captured in the event photos.

Want to Learn More?

Visit our dedicated website,, for project updates, timelapse videos, maps, and contact information.


> Back to News