Innovation awarded

By Geoff Adams

A Loddon Valley farmer has collected a state award for innovation in irrigation.

Ben Leversha was named a regional winner in the Irrigation District Water Users category in October, and at a gala award presentation in Melbourne on Friday he topped the state.

Goulburn-Murray Water customer relationship consultant Malcolm Pearson said Mr Leversha had completely transformed the property he purchased in 2007, moving from flood irrigation to using highly efficient lateral irrigators.

‘‘It is a brilliant example of water efficiency,’’ Mr Pearson said.

The Rural Water Awards are held every two years to reward Victorians who have developed or adapted clever ideas to better use water, deliver water savings or drive productivity for their business.

They are a partnership between VicWater, G-MW, Southern Rural Water, Lower Murray Water, Grampians Wimmera Mallee Water and Coliban Water.

Mr Leversha, originally from Bendigo, installed two 800m lateral irrigators, controlled by his mobile phone, which travel 5km before they make the trek back to the starting point.

Mr Leversha constructed a 300Ml dam on the property to provide protection from supply issues. The dam stores the equivalent of 10 days of irrigation water.

■More about the farm in next week’s Country News.