GOULBURN Murray Water could fix about 80 irrigation sites in central Victoria in a $177 million water efficiency push.
The sites are among more than 100 that might soon be slated for a region stretching from Swan Hill to Cobram, including clusters near Boort, Pyramid Hill and Echuca.
The state government is calling for feedback about the plans, which are the latest in a decade-long push to stop water loss through evaporation and channel seepage, Goulburn Murray Water general manager of strategy and services planning Daniel Irwin said.
"This is really looking at parts of the network that really haven't yet had a treatment applied," he said.
The idea is to stop people losing water for farm use because of aged or leaky irrigation channels.
It could also stop the government having to buy back farmers' water or transferring entitlements.
Previous projects have included plastic or clay-lining channels, upgrading water monitoring equipment, removing inefficient sections of the network and installing pipelines.
The next round could involve decommissioning hundreds of kilometres of channels, including 18 near Rochester, 16 in the Loddon Valley and 33 in the Central Goulburn irrigation area.
That will likely depend on future discussions with landowners and GMW customers, Mr Irwin said.
"Different opportunities will certainly become evident," he said.
"That will be in the way people structure their on-farm operations or needs. For example, you can sometimes find that customers want to dry off their property and move to a stock and domestic type of supply.
"Other examples are people who have properties served by multiple water sources, so you can consolidate that source for them."
Another 30km of channels could be modernised in the Central Goulburn district, along with 22km in the Loddon Valley and 1km near Rochester.
Channel treatments across the wider region could save 8.7 gigalitres of water, or 8.7 billion litres, Goulburn Murray Water estimated.
It could find another 6 gigaliters of savings in technological changes.
About 63 gigaliters of water currently passes through the area.
Goulburn Murray Water is yet to work out how wetlands and other environmental assets might be affected by any works as projects are still in the conceptual phase.
GMW estimates that the projects would create an estimated 928 jobs, both directly and indirectly, and benefit about 800 customers, including nearly 470 in central Victoria.
People can view the document and give feedback on proposed socio-economic impacts of any works.
The entire project needs to be proven to have a "neutral" or "positive" socio-economic impact for the federal government to unlock funds from a $1.5 billion pool.
People can give feedback or view documents here.