The Western Australian Government has opened a new $15 million water treatment plant to improve future water supply for Greater Bunbury, and in response to the impacts of climate change.

The plant draws water from groundwater resources further inland from the coastal groundwater resources, where due to the impacts of climate change the risk of increasing salinity levels is threatening water quality.

By extracting water from an inland source, higher quality water is accessed for Aqwest’s 35,000 customers, which creates greater production cost efficiencies, delivering benefits to customers and the environment.

Western Australian Water Minister, Dave Kelly, said, “This new plant will ensure a sustainable water supply into the future by moving away from water extraction at coastal bores, which were at risk of saltwater intrusion due to the impacts of climate change.

“This modern and highly efficient plant is securing a supply of quality water into the future and will support the development and growth of the Bunbury region.” 

The Aqwest water treatment plant has the capacity to supply almost half of Bunbury’s average water consumption demand, producing 12 million litres of drinking water a day – equivalent to five Olympic swimming pools.

The new plant will enable Aqwest to continue to supply good quality water to Bunbury and support the town’s growth and development.

Construction of the plant at Glen Iris supported more than 200 jobs for local contractors over the past two years and was completed on budget and safely, with final works completed during the challenging COVID-19 environment. 

Bunbury MLA, Don Punch, said, “This is an infrastructure project which has provided a world-class water production facility in Bunbury and is supporting the growth of our city.

“It is another example of the State Government’s commitment to ensuring local projects are supporting local jobs while building the infrastructure we need for a prosperous future.”

The carbon footprint of the plant is reduced by 100kW of solar panels in an array on top of the filtration, storage and administration buildings, and work in conjunction with the grid to power the plant.

In collaboration with local Aboriginal elders, Aqwest has named the new plant Ngoora Moolinap Water Treatment Plant (Glen Iris), which means ‘water sitting in a well’ and ‘swampy place’, and reflects the Aboriginal history of and connection to the land.

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