Transforming the South-West’s biggest potential surface water resource from a salty problem into a viable resource supporting industrial and agricultural growth, moves a step closer today.
The State Government’s $5.2million Collie River Salinity Recovery Project was jointly announced in Collie by Regional Development Minister Brendon Grylls and Water Minister Graham Jacobs.
The Liberal-National Government’s Royalties for Regions-funded project will also secure a further $1.8million allocation from the South West Development Commission.
Mr Grylls said the funding allocation delivered further benefits to the pilot expansion diversion project.
“Salinity levels of one of the South-West’s largest reservoirs - Wellington Dam - are an increasing concern and this pilot project is one way the Liberal-National Government is working towards solving the problem,” he said.
Dr Jacobs said the diversion project, first commenced by the Department of Water through $30million provided jointly by the State and the Commonwealth Government’s National Action Plan for Salinity and Water Quality funding, would be bolstered by the new funds.
“Improving water quality in the 186GL capacity Wellington Dam by diverting and treating saline river flows from the east Collie River, will open up the resource to support proposed industry expansion and development in the region,” he said.
“This project is exciting because it has the potential to recover unusable water resources and make them useful, in a time when water resources are becoming scarcer and more in demand. We cannot continue to rely on ground and surface water flows and the alternative is to make better use of the water we have either through recycling or by treating poor quality water.”
Mr Grylls said salinity reduction in the reservoir would make coastal plain irrigators more efficient, and pave the way to secure industrial water supply for the Collie-Bunbury region.
“Wellington Dam is a significant asset for the region and decisions on how the Government manages water supply, once we have lowered salinity levels, need to be taken because water is a key driver for the region’s development,” he said.
Regional Development Minister’s office - 9213 7000
Water Minister’s office - 9213 6900