Barooga Water Trust providing water to Berrigan

Water to Berrigan

Berrigan township did not have a reliable water supply and in the early days had tremendous problems with water provision. The town relied on surface water or underground aquifers, however these had limited scope and in extreme dry times other methods had to be sought. During periods of the great drought of 1902 water was trucked in by train from Narrandera and then allocated out to different households.

The first reliable water supply for Berrigan was sourced from the Barooga Water Trust and commenced in 1924. The Trust had been in operation for thirteen years by then, and was initially a stock and domestic scheme built by landholders north of Barooga, but later extended to Berrigan to furnish the town with a reliable supply. Water was pumped from the Murray River, via syphon, uphill to a reservoir located upstream of Barooga Township. The exhaust and engine were very loud and could often be heard throughout the township 24 hours a day, seven days a week, from November through to March.

The first reservoir was lined with clay and, as it was above ground level, when it neared filling the first time it burst, spilling the contents. A second reservoir therefore had to be built, at further expense and time, further inland, and this was utilised. From the reservoir the water was sent along an open channel system north to Berrigan, taking three weeks to make the trip.

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