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Western Australia further bolsters climate-independent water sources

Western Australia (WA) is set to benefit from an $11.9 million investment into the Bunbury Water Resource Recovery Scheme, including the construction of a new water recycling facility and pipeline alongside the Bunbury Wastewater Treatment Plant.

With climate change causing reduced rainfall, streamflow and, in turn, reduced groundwater recharge, the water recycling facility will supplement water supply for major infrastructure projects and irrigation of public open spaces.

WA Water Minister Dave Kelly said the project aims to alleviate use of potable water from the Yarragadee Aquifer by creating a new recycled water source for Bunbury’s non-potable water needs.

"This initiative helps to address the impact climate change is having on our water supplies by ensuring the sustainability of the Yarragadee Aquifer and the future supply of potable water to homes in Bunbury,” he said.

"The fit-for-purpose, recycled water generated will provide a much needed water resource for industry and irrigation, and deliver far reaching benefits to the city of Bunbury community by greening the environment and improving liveability."

The new facility will add to other water recycling schemes in operation around Western Australia to create climate-independent water sources, including Water Corporation’s groundwater replenishment scheme.

The facility is expected to increase the state’s trend towards recycled water use, and Water Corporation’s commitment to recycling 30% of wastewater by 2030.

Funded by the WA Government, the project will be led by Aqwest, which will build and operate the new facility, and source water for the scheme from Water Corporation's Bunbury Wastewater Treatment Plant.

Bunbury Member of the Legislative Assembly Don Punch said the facility will help keep the community green and local industry thriving, without placing further stress on an already stretched water supply.

"Already our local water supply is constrained, with a number of local parks going without reticulation, so a project that will recycle water, protect our environment and allow for the watering of public open space to improve our suburbs is a fantastic outcome for our community,” he said.

"This project shows we have the capacity to be innovative and develop new and sustainable ways of meeting the ongoing needs of our community, all while supporting jobs for local people."