Irrigation in the Southern Riverina was initially
developed as “drought proofing” – to provide
reliable stock and domestic water to a vast region
which had been regularly devastated by drought.
Between 1933 and 1964 the NSW Government
undertook the development of the state’s largest
irrigation network known as the Murray Irrigation
Area and Districts, fed by the waters of the Murray
The NSW Water Conservation and Irrigation
Commission (WC&IC) was responsible for
construction and operation of the irrigation
network. It later became the NSW Water
Resources Commission and then the
Department of Water Resources.
In 1995 control and operation of the
irrigation system was handed over to the
irrigators it served, through the formation of the
privatised company Murray Irrigation Limited.
One Irrigation Area and four Irrigation Districts
were developed in the Southern Riverina:
Today the system provides vital water supplies to
more than 2,400 properties which total 740,000
hectares of farmland.
The residents of Berrigan, Finley and Wakool and the
village of Bunnaloo all rely on the irrigation system
for their town water.
Irrigation also underpins the security of Deniliquin’s
town water supply and directly supports a regional
population of 25,000.