Overview of CICL

Coleambally Irrigation Co-operative Limited (CICL) is a member owned co-operative which supplies irrigation and corporate services to its members and customers. Its irrigation delivery is via gravity through open earthen channels.  CICL’s modernisation journey has focussed on improving our water supply service, measurement and efficiency. 

CICL’s governance structure consists of two separate, legal entity co-operatives, CICL and Coleambally Irrigation Mutual Co-operative Limited (CIMCL).  CIMCL has responsibility for the future replacement of the major assets of the supply and drainage systems and its charges are specifically focused on providing for those assets’ replacement.

In July 1997 Coleambally Irrigation Corporation was formed and vested with the irrigation undertaking known as Coleambally Irrigation Area, which was previously under the control of the Department of Land and Water Conservation.  As part of the move to privatisation and local ownership, Coleambally Irrigation Limited was incorporated in December 1999 for the purpose of acquiring the irrigation infrastructure of Coleambally Irrigation Corporation.

In June 2000 the company was privatised and the shares were transferred to its irrigator shareholders who resolved to adopt a Co-operative structure.

CICL is situated in the Murrumbidgee valley in the NSW Riverina. It provides irrigation and drainage services to nearly 500 farms owned by 350 businesses and has 295 members. The average size of an irrigated farm is 220 ha.

CICL holds a number of water access licences with the NSW Government and its regulated surface water supply is accessed from the Murrumbidgee River just upstream of Gogeldrie Weir.

The CICL area of operations, of circa 457k ha, is divided into three major management areas which include the following:

  1. The Coleambally Irrigation Area, servicing an area of 79,000 ha of irrigable land;
  2. The Kerarbury scheme, servicing an area of 12,000 ha of grazing and irrigation land; and
  3. The Coleambally Outfall District (also known as the West Coleambally Channel), servicing approximately 300,000 ha of mainly grazing land with some opportunistic irrigation development.

CICL has 516 km of supply channels and 711 km of drainage channels and its irrigation service is generally available from mid-August to mid-May.

CICL’s irrigators grow a mixture of summer and winter irrigated crops with cotton, rice and corn being the main summer crops.