The Federal Government has announced new funding for water saving infrastructure projects across Australia.
The Government predicts that nearly one billion litres of water will be saved each year in local communities across Victoria, through new infrastructure projects.
Minister for Climate Change, Energy Efficiency and Water, Senator Penny Wong, said the Government would provide $3.7 million in funding for Hume City Council, Wannon Water and Westernport Region Water Corporation.
“The emerging effects of climate change and varying population patterns mean communities across Australia face increasing pressure in securing their water supplies,” Senator Wong said.
“It’s vital that we support local communities and businesses in tackling the challenge of a future with less water.
“We need to find new sources of water for urban supplies that are less dependent on rain-fed sources, while helping communities use water more wisely.”
The projects to be rolled out include construction of a recycled water pipeline to the local sports reserve in Sunbury; water tanks at five Sunbury early education and childhood centres; delivery of high quality recycled water to residents and businesses on Phillip Island; and a new monitoring system to improve mains leak detection and response times in the Otway ranges, south-west Victoria.
Senator Wong also announced that Western Australia will receive new and upgraded infrastructure worth $33 million.
The projects will help communities reduce their reliance on rain water, diversify current water supplies and use water more wisely. They will be implemented by two WA water corporations and one local council.
The projects include the expansion of Southern Seawater Desalination Plant’s future capacity to produce drinking water from 50 billion litres a year to 100 billion litres; water conservation and leak reduction programs for five regions throughout WA; increased capacity of stormwater storage and reuse in the town of Merredin; and installation of smart metering technology throughout Busselton to reduce pipeline leakages.
Senator Wong said WA’s urban water supplies were under increasing pressure.
“CSIRO’s recent sustainable yields study predicts south-west WA will face the risk of a one-quarter reduction in water availability by 2030, relative to the last 30 years,” Senator Wong said.
The Federal Government has committed $19.2 million towards water saving projects across South Australia, to be implemented by eight regional councils and the Local Government Association of South Australia.
The measures include using less portable water for commercial purposes by introducing stormwater harvesting and wastewater reuse scheme in Port Augusta and Port Pirie; using recycled water in sporting fields and parks; installing more efficient irrigation systems; and a statewide initiative to help 18 councils diversify their future water supplies and improve their capacity to better manage current resources.
Senator Wong said it was necessary to diversify water supplies in SA and reduce reliance on the River Murray.
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