Kim Chance

Kim Chance

Minister for Agriculture and Food; Forestry; the Mid West and Wheatbelt; Great Southern

    State Government funds research to improve rural and urban water management

    23/12/2005 12:00 AM

    Agriculture and Forestry Minister Kim Chance today handed over more than $200,000 to the CSIRO to fund groundbreaking research into improving the management of Western Australia’s water resources.

    Mr Chance said the first of two CSIRO projects to receive funding from the Premier’s Water Foundation project would research the use of non-potable water to irrigate public open spaces in urban areas.

    “The use of non-potable water for specific purposes is an effective mechanism to reduce the pressure on depleting water resources,” he said.

    “This project will involve on-ground testing of a series of design principles for urban developments in Perth to improve water quality, so it can be used on a fit-for-purpose basis.”

    The design principles to be tested include:
    • reducing or eliminating potable water use outside homes and buildings;
    • minimising discharge of pollutants in shallow groundwater into waterways or drains;
    • maintaining or restoring desirable environmental flows and hydro-periods, water quality and habitat in wetlands and river reaches; and
    • reducing the average annual load of stormwater pollutants, especially nitrogen and phosphorus to sediments.
    “This research will assist the State Government in managing the urban sprawl which is currently occurring, by encouraging more sustainable water management within newly developed areas,” the Minister said.

    The second CSIRO project to receive funding from the Premier’s Water Foundation will assess a process to pre-treat saline, acidic ground water in the Wheatbelt, making it suitable for desalination.

    “If the process is effective, the proposed treatment method may assist in providing a potable water source for regional communities, while at the same time reducing the environmental impact of saline drainage discharge water,” Mr Chance said.

    “In addition, the treatment process may increase options for using by-products, such as salts and metals removed from the water in the treatment process.

    “It is predicted that the method will offer considerable cost savings over other available pre-treatment methods, such as lime treatment.”

    The Premier’s Water Foundation was established as an initiative of the State Water Strategy. The foundation was set up to provide grants to promote and enhance water related research and development activities in WA.

    “The foundation is one way the State Government is investing in smarter ways to conserve and re-use water to help secure WA’s water future,” Mr Chance said.

    “So far, projects funded by the foundation have attracted an additional $9million investment into water research in the State.”

    The success of the foundation’s first round of grants has resulted in a further $3million being allocated for a second round of funding.

    “The foundation has received 56 expressions of interest for funding from the second round - an outstanding response,” Mr Chance said.

    It is currently anticipated that successful recipients of the second round of funding will be notified early in 2006.

    “The Gallop Government is protecting and enhancing WA’s unique environment,” the Minister said.

    Minister's Office - 9213 6700