MURRUMBIDGEE Irrigation has embarked on its biggest shake-up since privatisation in a bid to reduce soaring costs for its customer base.
Up to 10 people have lost their jobs in the reshuffle and many more have been moved into different roles within the organisation.
All staff members were forced to reapply to retain their positions under the new structure.
The number of departments within the organisation has been reduced from five to four in order to focus on the key areas of long-term planning, customer service and asset management.
MI CEO Raveen Jaduram said the motivation for the restructure was recognising the need to improve efficiency, a goal MI's customers had been focused on for many years.
"This is not a numbers game; our focus is to make sure we have the capability to run this business efficiently now and into the future," Mr Jaduram said.
"This is a private organisation which is providing services to customers, not for profit, and we have to be very good at what we do.
"In our Network Service Plan we have put a price path out to our customers, showing them how much our prices will increase. It will be very good if, through efficiency and through being smart, we are able to have prices which are less than what we've published."
Two staff members have been made redundant as part of the restructure and Mr Jaduram said "less than 10" had been denied contract renewals as a result of discontinued projects.
The projects, including the successful Envirowise program, had been allocated federal government funding when MI was privatised in 1999. The agreement has now expired, leaving MI to fund the schemes itself or rein them in significantly.
"MI is a grown-up boy or girl now so we have to stand on our own two feet," Mr Jaduram said.
"All of our funding will now have to come from our customers so we need to make sure we are spending it wisely."
MI's customers, reassured that on-the-ground staff would not be affected, have applauded the restructure.
"MI is not a company that can just expand and expand because the resource it relies on is diminishing and so is its customer base," Murrumbidgee Valley Food and Fibre Association president Debbie Buller said.
"All of MI's customers and shareholders are having to drive efficiency and it just makes sense that our infrastructure company does the same thing.
"If it is going to be a viable business they have to recognise that. They can't continue to scrape the bottom of the pit and put prices up."
Mrs Buller said it was sad to see people losing their jobs but the restructure made "complete business and logistical sense".