In March of 2016, the co-operative converted from a statutory authority (Pioneer Valley Water Board – est. June 1996). PVWater is registered as a service provider under the Water Supply (Safety and Reliability) Act 2008 and holds the distribution operations licence (DOL) under the Water Act 2000 for the Pioneer River Water Supply Scheme.
PVWater is currently responsible for annual distribution of up to 47,390 megalitres of water for irrigation purposes, and is also engaged by Pioneer Valley Water Mutual Co-operative Limited (PVMutual) to manage the maintenance of the irrigation infrastructure through which the allocation is distributed. The irrigation infrastructure is owned by water allocation holders through their membership in PVMutual.
The 350 (approx) water allocations which fall within PVWater’s distribution area are devoted in a very large part to the production of sugar by PVWater’s 250 (approx) customers, although opportunities for diversification into alternative crops such as sorghum, peanuts, soy, kanaf and rice are constantly under scrutiny. There has also been some conversion of traditional sugar-cane farming land to beef cattle production over recent years.
PVWater distributes to irrigation customers in the riparian areas of Palm Tree Creek, Cattle Creek below Tanallo, and the Pioneer River, together with four reticulation supply areas, being Palmyra, Palm Tree Creek, Septimus and Silver McGregor.
Water for irrigation within PVWater’s distribution area is sourced from natural stream flows in the Pioneer Valley, supplemented as required from Teemburra Dam. Distribution is achieved by various means including diversion through pump stations, pipelines, earth channels and existing natural watercourses. Major PVWater diversion points for reticulated schemes are located at Gargett and Septimus (from Cattle Creek) and near Pleystowe (from Dumbleton Rocks Weir on the Pioneer River). PVWater also operates a gravity-fed high pressure pipeline reticulation scheme directly from Teemburra Dam near Pinnacle.
PVWater relies heavily on automated electrical and radio telemetry systems to monitor and control infrastructure, and generally operates with a staff complement of four. Details of current Board and staff members for PVWater can be found under Personnel.
PVWater uses a state of the art Water Management System to accurately track water usage. Customers are required to place an order when they wish to use water, and can do so via our Telemex application or webpage. More information regarding Telemex can be found under Accessing Water Entitlements
Pioneer Valley Water Supply Scheme
The scheme supplies water for urban, industrial and agricultural users – mainly sugarcane growers – in the Pioneer Valley, which extends westward and inland from Mackay to Eungella, and encompasses the townships of Sarina, Walkerston, Marian, Eton, Mirani, Septimus, Gargett, Pinnacle and Finch Hatton.
How the Scheme Works
PVWater implement and maintain the infrastructure required to supply water to users on the different schemes. The means of delivering this water are either via a pipeline or with a supplemented watercourse. Water orders placed by the user allow PVWater to deliver the correct amounts as and when required.
Approximately 350 water allocations currently fall under the purview of PVWater. A large part of these allocations are used in the production of sugarcane, though other uses are certainly found within the scheme. These can include cattle and other livestock, industrial, and a range of other agricultural uses.