Glossary of terms

Murray Irrigation is committed to providing clear information to customers as part of the PIIOP upgrades. If you are unsure of any terminology provided to you as part of the PIIOP project rollout, please refer to the below glossary of terms. If the term is not provided below then please contact a PIIOP Customer Consultation Officer via reception on T. 1300 138 265. Alternatively you can submit a message via the 'Contact' page with your request for a term to be clarified and we will respond with the definition and add it to this glossary for the benefit of all customers.

Assets

Murray Irrigation assets are described as infrastructure owned and operated by Murray Irrigation. The company has over 25,000 assets and is responsible for the maintenance of these assets. Examples of assets include bridges, stock stops, regulators, syphons and sections of channel.

Amalgamation

Amalgamation involves combining two or more Murray Irrigation landholdings with a common boundary into one landholding. A fact sheet with more information on amalgamation is available here.

Asset transfer

The transfer of ownership of Murray Irrigation infrastructure to the customer, upon the signing of an agreement between both parties. An example includes the Reconfiguration project where the customer executes a Reconfiguration Deed to take over ownership and operation of a length of channel.

Compliant meters

Compliant meters are meters that meet the national framework standards for metering accuracy. Compliant meters are required to have an accuracy of plus or minus five percent field measurement accuracy.

Consolidation

The alternative to 'merging' accounts. Customers with multiple water accounts and/or landholdings may retain multiple accounts with a consolidated view of their water accounts. This option does not affect the operation of individual accounts, but allows customers to view a summary of their accounts together in one place. A fact sheet with more information on consolidation is available here.

Commissioning

Commissioning is when a structure such as an irrigation outlet is installed and is then assessed and checked that it is suitable for operation.

Decommissioning

Decommissioning is a process where certain Murray Irrigation assets such as outlets or regulators are assessed and determined that they are no longer required for use. The first step is to complete a form where the structure is assessed by Murray Irrigation and a process commences to remove from the company's asset register.

Outlet Decommissioning
Decommissioning outlets is when the customer has no existing use of the outlet under current arrangements. The customer will still be paying annual fees for that outlet. Should the customer wish to not receive any further annual fees they can nominate to have that outlet decommissioned by contacting a Murray Irrigation Water Distribution Supervisor, via reception on T. 1300 138 265. The Distribution Supervisor will commence a process for removing the outlet from Murray Irrigation's operational and accounting systems. The form that is completed is Form IS-QF001 titled 'Application of Works on Supply and Drainage System by Landholders'.

Regulator decommissioning
There are some cases where initiatives can be implemented by customers regarding either alternative structures, outlet location or decommissioning of their outlets that can lead to Murray Irrigation decommissioning a regulator. Given that there are financial savings through not upgrading a regulator, criteria has been developed through the PIIOP Outlet and Meter Strategy to provide financial incentives for customers that fall into this category.

Flow shares

In certain periods, demand for irrigation may exceed the capacity of Murray Irrigation's supply system. When this occurs the company may determine that restricted flow rates apply to landholdings along certain sections of the channel system.

When flow restrictions occur, the flow through an outlet to a landholding will be limited by the number of flow shares on that landholding. If a landholding has been subdivided since 1995 the landholdings may be subject to a portion of a flow share. If the landholding has been amalgamated since 1995 the flow shares will be based on those available before amalgamation. If more than 1,500 water entitlements were associated with a landholding as at 3 March 1995 (as determined by the company), the landholding may receive water at double the restricted flow rate.

The size of the outlet that is installed on a landholding does not affect the number of flow shares or the flow rate during restrictions. For example, if a landholding has an extra-large outlet and flow restrictions of 5ML/day are announced on that channel section and that landholding has one flow share, the maximum flow during the time of announced restrictions will be 5ML/day. Should an outlet be actively delivering water at a higher flow rate and then flow restrictions are announced, the flow rate will be reduced back to the announced flow restriction rate against the available flow share. More information is included in the company's Distribution Rules Policy, section 8 - 'Restricted flow regulation and management'.

Levels of service

High Level of Service
The High Level of Service (HLOS) applies where the Murray Irrigation channel and outlets are automatically controlled, with automation achieved by the replacement of some regulator gates with a Rubicon FlumeGate™. In the HLOS areas, irrigation customers are able to change their water orders more frequently, generally allowing around four changes per day if channel flow conditions allow.

Standard Level of Service
The Standard Level of Service (SLOS) applies where irrigation outlets and regulators are controlled remotely. The SLOS is being tested in the Yallakool Pilot area. Existing AWMA mechanised gates in the SLOS area will be modified to allow for remote control. In the SLOS area, customers are able to change their water orders twice in a 24-hour period, if channel flow conditions allow. The frequency of water order changes may increase after the Yallakool Pilot is completed and the results known. 

Link channel

Link channels are small 'spurs' of channels that extend from larger channels to supply irrigation water to a landholding. Typically these channels are a few metres to two kilometres in length and extend from upstream of a regulator within the larger channel.

Merging

The alternative to 'consolidating' accounts. Customers with multiple water accounts and/or landholdings may merge their accounts into a single water account to simplify administration. This means that whilst owning multiple landholdings and parcels of water entitlements, the customer's water entitlements, delivery entitlements, annual allocation and any annual trade are combined together in a single account. Ownership of permanent water entitlements and delivery entitlements is not altered. A fact sheet with more information on merging is available here.

Outlets (types of outlets)

Dethridge outlets
Dethridge outlets consist of a drum on an axle with eight v-shaped veins fixed to the outside. The revolving wheel measures flow from the supply channels in revolutions. One 'rev' per day is the equivalent to 1.2ML/day. Dethridge outlets make up the majority of outlets to be upgraded under PIIOP. Typically these outlets will be upgraded to a Rubicon FlumeGate™ or SlipMeter™.

FlumeGate™
The FlumeGate™ is a combined flow measurement and control gate designed by Rubicon Water to regulate flow in open channels. Flow measurement, precise motor control, power supply and radio telecommunications are fully integrated in a single device. In free-flow or submerged conditions, flow is calculated from the gate's own measurements of upstream water level, downstream water level and gate position. The FlumeGate™ can be operated as a stand-alone unit, or can coordinate with other gates along the channel to optimise the whole network's flow. It can be managed and monitored on-site or operated remotely when connected to Murray Irrigation's SCADA network. The FlumeGate™ automatically controls the flow of water by varying the gate position based on a desired set-point or on irrigation demand.

Half wheels
Half wheels consist of a drum on an axle with eight v-shaped veins fixed to the outside and are half the size of a standard Dethridge outlet. One 'rev' per day from a half wheel is the equivalent of 0.6ML/day. Half wheels were originally designed to irrigate small irrigated areas or hobby farms.

Large electric flow meters
Large electric flow meters have been installed in the last 10 years and typically consist of a 600mm drum with electronic sensors around the inner circumference to measure water flow. Flow rates can be up to 20ML/day and most are manually operated by a front door. Large electric flow meters are within the scope of the program and can be remote controlled by fitting a Rubicon SlipGate™.

SlipMeter™
The SlipMeter™ is a flow meter with an integrated control gate designed to automate irrigation service points. Accurate flow measurement, precise flow control, power supply and radio telecommunications are fully integrated in a single device. The SlipMeter™ accurately measures flows even in turbulent conditions. Instantaneous flow rate and total volume passed are recorded, providing a precise account of water usage. It features a local LCD display which provides the ability to control the service point and view instantaneous flow rate, volume of current delivery, and total flow volume for the season. The SlipMeter™ can be managed and monitored on-site or operated remotely when connected to Murray Irrigation's SCADA network.

Small pipes
Small pipes typically include pipes around 300mm or less in diameter and are installed through the channel bank with a control structure at the front to regulate flow. 

Outlet sizes

Small outlets
Small outlets are irrigation outlets that have a flow rate to 5ML/day.

Large outlets
Large outlets are irrigation outlets that have a flow rate up to 15ML/day.

Extra-large outlets
Extra-large outlets are irrigation outlets that have a flow rate up to 30ML/day. 

Offtake

An offtake is a structure within Murray Irrigation's channel system that controls water leading from a large channel or canal into a smaller channel. It is similar to a regulator, though the main purpose is supplying water into the channel. 

Reconfiguration

Reconfiguration is where a customer remains connected to our channel system but has an alternate supply point. There are many opportunities to reduce the length of channel or the number of major channel assets by altering how a landholding is connected to our channel system. Each reconfiguration project is assessed based on its merits.

Regulator

A regulator is a structure that controls water within Murray Irrigation's channel system. Regulators are used to control channel flows, and also to maintain water levels within a channel pool to ensure water can be supplied at the correct full supply level through an irrigation outlet. 

SCADA

Murray Irrigation's Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA) system uses radio communication to provide control of remote equipment. It allows for automation and data collection of field equipment.

Syphon

This is a structure that is separate from the customer's main supply outlet and is simply a pipe and two headwalls/pits that links irrigation supply water from one side of the customer's property to another (under either a Murray Irrigation channel or storm water escape). The syphon effectively replaces one or more irrigation outlets.

Syphon meter

This is one structure that effectively replaces two outlets. On one side of Murray Irrigation's supply channel will be the outlet and that same structure can then divert water to one side of the landholding or underneath the Murray Irrigation supply channel to the other side of the landholding.