The Federal Government is helping fund a feasibility study that could see water piped underneath the Ord River.

A feasibility study is about to start on plans to build a pipe underneath the Ord River and gravity-feed water through to the other side for irrigation.

Western Australia’s Ord Irrigation Cooperative (OIC) wants to know whether the siphon project would be cheaper in the long-term than pumping water directly from the Ord River.

The plans would see water from the existing Ord Irrigation Scheme siphoned-off to the 1,000ha Ord West Bank.

The idea is not entirely new, with siphons already being used in the Ord Valley to move water from the new M2 channel under the D4 drain.

Early estimates indicate the pipe under the river would have to stretch about 450 metres, costing between $10 million and $15 million.

With a pre-feasibility study just about complete, the feasibility study will begin thanks to $162,000 from the Federal Government’s National Water Infrastructure Development Fund.

Significant data collection will be done by Geoscience Australia.

The OIC said formal plans could be funded by the Commonwealth's $2 billion National Water Infrastructure Loan Facility.