The first stage of the $16.3 million Renmark Irrigation Trust 3IP modernisation program is underway.

Works began this week on Ral Ral Avenue in Renmark, South Australia, and will see the installation of a series of valves to allow for easier manipulation of water through the lines.

The 3IP project is just one of 61 the irrigation and industry projects funded under South Australia’s Irrigation Industry Improvement Program.

The government program aims to improve farm productivity and return water to the River Murray.

Presiding member Peter Duggin said the works would bring big benefits to customers, including easier availability of water.

“We hope through this we can manage that much better and have far more happy customers which at the end of the day allows people to manage their properties and their crop and come up with a better quality crop or more of it and offset extreme heat,” he told the ABC

Mr Duggin estimated that if everything went to plan, the project could be finished by the end of the year.