Water Minister Graham Jacobs and Regional Development Minister Brendon Grylls today announced an Expression of Interest (EOI) process to identify all viable water source options for the West Pilbara to underpin the development of the Pilbara Cities programme.
Dr Jacobs said the West Pilbara urgently needed a new water source and the State Government was getting on with the job of securing it.
“The existing water supply scheme is completely reliant on cyclonic rainfall - something the region hasn’t experienced since early 2009 - and the job of finding new sources has for too long been put in the too hard basket,” he said.
“Through the EOI process, we will be able to make a fully informed decision on the next water source and be in a position to progress in a short space of time.”
Dr Jacobs said the Water Corporation held a license to draw water from the Millstream Aquifer and Harding Dam whose long-term reliable yield was entirely dependent on regular rainfall.
“The current draw for the West Pilbara Water Supply Scheme is in excess of the long-term sustainable yield from these sources,” he said.
“While there is enough water today to meet demand, more is needed to accommodate the Government’s long-term vision for the region.”
Mr Grylls said the Liberal-National Government understood the issue and was getting on with the job securing the water.
“The Pilbara Cities plan will drive economic development for Western Australia and securing water is our number one priority,” he said.
“The bold Pilbara Cities plan will transform Karratha into a world-class City of the North with a potential population of 50,000 and the Liberal-National Government will ensure a safe, secure water supply to see the plan through.”
The EOI process is to identify already proven projects to meet West Pilbara’s future needs.
“Discussions have already been held with the mining industry on potential water source options, and through this EOI, the Government is now formally asking all potential third party suppliers to put their proposals on the table for consideration,” Mr Grylls said.
A report identifying all viable water sources, including those identified through the EOI process, will be submitted to State Cabinet.
Further information on the EOI process is available at the Water Corporation on 9420 3917.
Water Minister’s office - 9213 6900
Regional Development Minister’s office - 9213 7000