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Western Australia Water Minister, Dave Kelly, has announced the recipients of the state’s $3.2 million Community Water Supplies Partnership Program, helping regional communities secure precious off-farm water supplies and deal with impacts of climate change.

Nine regional communities will receive funding under a new, two-year program, which expands on the previous Water Supply Program and is jointly funded by the State and Commonwealth Governments. 

The Program is part of the Western Australian Government’s commitment to ensure farmers have access to reliable agricultural and emergency livestock drinking water sources, especially during dry periods when on-farm supplies are depleted.

The funding is expected to help provide a longer-term solution for Western Australian farmers when dealing with the impacts of climate change, and will support liveable and climate resilient communities in rural Western Australia.

Grants for wheatbelt towns

The towns of Kulin, Perenjori and Trayning will share over $230,000 in grants. Many communities in the state’s Wheatbelt have experienced significantly reduced rainfall as a result of climate change.

The Shire of Kulin has received funding to enhance, protect and monitor non-potable water supplies. The project will help reduce reliance on scheme water for emergency livestock water, firefighting and other farm needs.

 The Shire of Trayning has been funded to reduce the Shire’s reliance on scheme water use, making the Shire more self-sufficient and able to access low-cost, non-potable water for its irrigation, Shire construction work and emergency use requirements.

 Works will include realignment and upgrades to the catchment that feeds the Trayning town site’s twin dams that have a combined capacity of approximately 42 million litres.

 Perenjori has received funding of $99,987 for the cost of two 200,000 litre capacity water tanks, two bores, two pumps and solar panels. The Shire is contributing $60,000 to the project.

Grants for Upper Great Southern 

The towns of Narrogin, Dumbleyung, Brookton and Williams will share over $270,000 in grants. Many communities in the state’s Great Southern have experienced significantly reduced rainfall as a result of climate change.

 The Shire of Narrogin has received funding of $100,000 to capture stormwater off Narrogin’s town site catchment area, which will harvest up to 147 million litres of water per year.

 The project will divert stormwater flows from May Street in Narrogin (near Dellar Street) to a stormwater harvesting catchment dam. The water will be used for irrigation of the Shire’s central sporting oval and other townscapes and recreational reserves.

 The Shire of Williams has been funded to provide a permanent source of non-potable water for community use. The project includes connection to an existing bore that is estimated to deliver 50,000 litres per day of non-potable for emergency livestock drinking water. 

 Two tanks with a storage capacity of 250,000 litres will be installed and connected to the bore for the farming community to access. 

 The Shire of Brookton has received funding to reduce reliance on scheme water and derive as much benefit as possible from their licenced bore.

 A new 200,000 litre water tank will be installed as well as motorised valves linked to sensors to remotely control water transfer. 

 Funding of $72,746 has been granted to the Shire of Dumbleyung for the cost of catchment and capture dam improvement works and tank installation. 

Boosting non-potable water in Boyup Brook

The Shire of Boyup Brook will receive a grant of $100,000 to help boost its resilience to the impacts of climate change and increase the town’s non-potable water supply network. 

The Shire of Boyup Brook will contribute an additional $50,000 to the project, which will see 5.6km of water pipe installed to connect an unused Water Corporation town dam reservoir to the non-potable community water storage dam.

 The water will be made available for use as an emergency supply for farmers to access in dry months, as well as for firefighting purposes.

 The pipeline will be able to transfer 100,000 litres of non-potable water per day from the old town supply dam and at least 20 million litres per year. 

 It is expected that the project will increase water storage capacity in the town of Boyup Brook and reduce scheme water use by about 9.5 million litres per year, resulting in annual cost savings of $25,000.

 The non-potable water will be used to irrigate ovals, tennis courts, Flax Mill Caravan Park, recreation areas, parks and gardens.

Additional water source for Albany 

The City of Albany will receive a grant of $62,000, which will fund a project to enable the use of water runoff from the Albany Leisure and Aquatic Centre’s roof.

 The project will allow the installation of two 250 kilolitre capacity tanks and associated pipework infrastructure to capture runoff from the leisure centre roof, which will be used for irrigation of sporting ovals and the centre’s toilet flushing systems. 

 It is estimated the project will reduce scheme water use by three million litres per year, resulting in annual cost savings of $19,000. 

The grant is co-funded by the State and Commonwealth Governments as part of an agreement under the National Water Grid Connections Fund. The City of Albany is contributing $32,250 to the project. 

 Mr Kelly said, “This project is part of a range of measures from the McGowan Government to secure water supplies in the Great Southern. 

 “From larger projects such as the Albany to Denmark pipeline, announced in August, to smaller strategic projects like this, we are helping future-proof regional water supplies from the effects of climate change.”

The program is supported by the National Water Grid Connections funding project.

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