Mules are integral to Rubicon's latest water project in Chile.GEOFF ADAMS November 7, 2012 4:01am
Most exporting businesses must book shipping and road transport, but if you’re sending Shepparton-made irrigation gates you can’t forget to book the mules.
Victoria-based Rubicon has recently finished phase one of a project installing its flume gates in mountainous Chile, South America.
The high-tech irrigation systems are operated remotely by radio waves which travel by line of sight and require some radio telemetry to be erected on hills and mountains.
Flume gates built by Rubicon Shepparton installed in Chile.
Rubicon International sales manager Peter Drew said some mountains had no roads and were too steep for any vehicle, so the radio equipment had to be taken to the top by mules.
‘‘Sometimes we can piggy-back on telecommunications towers but sometimes we have to put up the aerials ourselves
‘‘We got an urgent email the other day saying: ‘we need to get the itinerary for the next trip sorted out because we have to order the mules’.
‘‘I never thought I would ever have to repeat a sentence like that.’’
Shepparton-based communication technician Jason Gray has been on one of the mountain trips.
The company has been working in the Elqui River valley, an area with about 5000 irrigators in the Coquimbo region, about 500
Mr Drew said water was becoming scarce because of climate changes, desertification and growing demands from the mining industry.
As a result there had been rising tensions between water users and allegations that some users were extracting more then they were entitled to, as water use was largely unmetered.
The Chilean organisation managing irrigation wanted to improve flow measurement accuracy, frequency and safety, and wanted improved control over flows from the river into the channel systems.
Radio equipment on a mountain top in Chile.
Rubicon has replaced existing manually operated control gates with Shepparton-made flume gates which accurately measure flow and feature integrated control, solar power and radio communications.
To enable remote monitoring and management of the flume gates, Rubicon installed a radio tower linked to a server running Rubicon’s software to the management body’s headquarters.
Mr Drew said since the solution was implemented, accurate flow measurement information on the six river diversions had greatly increased the transparency of operations.
Anyone can view the flume gates’ real-time flow information on a website, and the 1300 irrigators on channels supplied by the diversions can be confident that they are receiving their share of water.
Other water users are now confident that irrigators are not receiving more than their entitlement.
Shepparton-made gates are now being exported to 11 countries, including China, the United States and New Zealand, and Rubicon is also developing the market in Mexico.
The Total Channel Control System was developed in the Goulburn Valley and is being used for the foodbowl modernisation project.
Budding Kyabram actor Taylor Smith Morvell is one of 20 Victorian students chosen to perform his Year 12 theatre studies monologue in Melbourne next week.
The Yarrawonga and District Cemetery Trust has been awarded a $50,000 grant from the Department of Health to undertake development work at the Yarrawonga cemetery.
Members of Murchison Book Club are hosting a literary lunch with Vivien Achia, author of Marrying Italian — When Love is Not Enough.
A man has been taken to Echuca hospital after being trapped for several minutes in his vehicle.
Steve Glassborow has returned for a twentieth year, bringing a range of his bronze sculptures.
Tongala family hopes for transplant call for six-year-old.
Family of former Seymour man killed in a road crash in Los Angeles before Christmas set up a Melbourne University scholarship in his honour.
Tocumwal's Don Elgin is aiming to compete at the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Scotland
Leitchville-Gunbower at home was too strong for Heathcote’s senior footballers in their first Good Friday clash.
Huge crowds turned out for Cobram Barooga's River Beaches Festival, which featured a special splash for 2000 rubber ducks.
South West Arts ArtOut will be held again in 2015 after last weekend's inaugural success.
Some of Australia’s greatest horses and just a few racetrack characters have appeared at the Benalla Racing Club’s grounds in its 150-year history.
Benalla's Kevin Harper will be honoured in the motorcade lap of honour at Melbourne Cricket Ground tomorrow for his service during the Korean War.
Discover unbelievable local deals from local businesses every week in the Goulburn and Murray Valley area with Leapon.com.au!
Search properties for sale or rent across North Central Victoria and Southern NSW. Visit your local website for local homes....
Search for published and unpublished photos from McPherson Media Group newspapers and magazines. All our photos are available to purchase.
Place an advertisement in any one of McPherson Media Group's local newspapers.