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The fourth round of funding under the Community Water Supplies Partnership Program has been announced, delivering over $800,000 in funding for eleven projects across the Great Southern and Wheatbelt regions of Western Australia.

The program provides regional communities in dryland agricultural areas with funding to improve their non-potable water supplies. A total of $3.2 million has been committed over four years through a collaboration between the Federal and Western Australian Governments.

Up to $100,000 can be provided for each off-farm community water supply project, developed by local government or community groups. Applicants must contribute 30 per cent of the total project value as a cash or in-kind contribution.

The Shire of Gnowangerup will receive $42,270 to install a 250-kilolitre capacity tank and solar pump at the Stutley Community agricultural area dam, so the shire can secure additional emergency water supplies. The Shire is contributing $21,000 towards this project.

In order to boost water supplies that provide emergency off-farm and firefighting water through the installation of a new water tank, the Shire of Williams will receive $24,372. The project will also reduce reliance on scheme water use in dry years. The Shire is contributing $12,186 to the project.

The Wheatbelt shires of Brookton, Kondinin and Merredin will also receive a total of $338,298 in funding. 

The Shire of Brookton will receive $147,967 through two grants that will help to fund complementary projects to extend non-potable bore water supply to several locations in the town of Brookton. This will eliminate reliance on scheme water for irrigation and result in annual cost-savings of $49,515.

To fund a project to improve the access, storage and supply of key community water supplies, the Shire of Kondinin will receive $90,331. The project will provide greater water security in the Shire and increase the ability to maintain green recreational spaces and boost the emergency water supply network for farmers and firefighting.

The Shire of Merredin will receive $100,000 to upgrade the Merredin Recycled Water Network, allowing for increased use of treated wastewater from the Water Corporation’s Merredin wastewater treatment plant for irrigation.

The project will upgrade the distribution pump system, install self-cleaning filters, renew the existing pipeline, and install additional pipework to connect to the Merredin Recreational Oval. The use of wastewater for irrigation will save approximately 190 kilolitres of high-quality harvested stormwater per day.

The shires of Dandaragan, Dowerin, Perenjori, Toodyay, and Victoria Plains will receive a total of $399,827 in funding.

The Shire of Dandaragan will receive $85,000 to fund stage two of the Jurien Bay Irrigation Development Plan Project which will supply 200 kilolitres of water annually and reduce pressure on scheme water supply.

The Shire of Perenjori will receive $62,754 to fund a bore system and infrastructure to reduce the town of Perenjori’s reliance on scheme water for irrigation of sporting facilities, emergency needs and Shire works.

The Shire of Dowerin will receive $88,509 to improve the capacity of the Dowerin townsite irrigation scheme, and the Shire of Toodyay will receive funding of $73,897 to increase its emergency firefighting water supplies through new rainwater tanks.

The Shire of Victoria Plains will receive $89,667 to refurbish its reverse osmosis plant in the town of Piawaning, which has been designed to provide emergency farm and firefighting water to the local community.

Western Australia Water Minister, Simone McGurk, said the program provides much-needed water security in the state’s regional towns. 

“With the impacts of climate change becoming more evident, it is now more important than ever for regional communities to future-proof water security,” Mr McGurk said.

“This funding has provided significant assistance to local governments to increase water availability for their local communities.”

More information on the Community Water Supplies Partnership Program can be found here.

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