The Wheatbelt community of Piawaning has used a State Government grant and innovative reverse-osmosis desalination technology to secure a reliable local source of non-potable water for community and emergency uses.
Water Minister Mia Davies today congratulated the Shire of Victoria Plains and the Piawaning Progress Association on the completion of a $260,000 project to deliver the Wheatbelt's first desalination and distribution system.
"The Piawaning reverse-osmosis desalination project will be able to produce 500,000 litres of non-potable water every three weeks; this water is from a brackish bore that could not be used previously but is now available for livestock and firefighting," she said.
In 2014, the Department of Water provided a $100,000 Community Water Supply Program grant for the project after farmers identified the need for a new sustainable emergency water supply to battle low rainfall and growing wildfire threats.
"As part of an action plan by the shire to ensure all towns and surrounding farms have strong and adequate emergency water supplies, Piawaning's desalinated water supply in the north-eastern corner of the shire complements other emergency supplies in the western, southern and central sections of the shire," Ms Davies said.
The Minister said the State Government was committed to diversifying alternative water sources that maximised the productive use of non-potable water in areas vulnerable to water deficiencies.
"Regional communities are central to WA's identity and economy, and alternative water sources build their resilience to meet the challenges of climate while also providing extra supply capacity to support economic development," she said.
"To continue this work, in July we announced the State's single-biggest investment in regional non-drinking water projects - the $30 million Watering WA initiative, funded by Royalties for Regions - to provide hundreds of millions of litres of fit-for-purpose water for maintaining sports grounds and public spaces, industry supply, and emergency livestock and firefighting purposes.
"This six-year program of practical on-ground works is funding local governments, farmers, community groups and businesses to co-invest in new and improved infrastructure to better harvest, store, treat and distribute underutilised water sources."
Watering WA Towns accelerates the work of the Community Water Supply Program, which has funded 120 projects worth $5.5 million since 1995
Watering WA Farms expands the Department of Water's Farm Water Rebate Scheme to include farms connected to scheme water - with more than $36 million spent building capacity on more than 3,900 farms not connected to scheme water since 1995
Minister's office - 6552 5500