A further step was taken today towards easing the way for developers and other water users to make more practical use of recycled water and other alternative non-drinking water sources.
Water Minister Graham Jacobs announced the release of the Department of Water’s ‘Draft approval framework for the use of non-drinking water in Western Australia’, which promises to simplify the approval process and unravel red tape.
“Non-drinking water sources can be treated to a level suitable for uses such as irrigating gardens and public parks and for in-house uses such as toilet flushing,” Dr Jacobs said.
“In this way, these sources provide suitable, fit-for-purpose water which offsets the use of highly treated drinking water.
“A number of State Government departments are involved in the regulation of non-drinking water schemes, including the departments of Water; Health; Environment and Conservation; and Planning.
“Up until now, proponents had to approach each Government agency individually for advice on approval requirements, leading to often confusing and sometimes conflicting advice.
“With this new simplified process, the Department of Water will take the lead to assist proponents through their approval requirements.
“The Government is confident that the approval framework will streamline the requirements for proponents and developers to make it easier to implement non-drinking water schemes.”
The development of this framework has been a collaborative effort between the departments of Water, Health, Environment and Conservation, Planning and Commerce (the Building Commission and the Plumbers Licensing Board); the Water Corporation; and non-government entities - the Urban Development Institute of Australia (WA) and the Western Australian Local Government Association.
The framework covers the use of wastewater, stormwater, greywater, rainwater and groundwater through storage and delivery systems, such as managed aquifer recharge and third pipe schemes.
The approval framework has been incorporated into the Department of Water’s Waterwise community toolkit, a recently released online resource to assist developers, local governments and households to evaluate opportunities to implement water use efficiency and non-drinking water sources.
The approval framework supports the Government’s strategy to manage the drying climate and has been released initially as a draft to allow it to be tested and refined in the future.
Copies of the approval framework can be downloaded at http://www.water.wa.gov.au/Managing+our+water/Water+recycling/default.aspx or phone 6364 7600.
Minister's office - 9213 6900