13/02/2009 - 10:13

State to spend $100m in Margaret River

13/02/2009 - 10:13

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The state government will spend over $100 million on new water infrastructure in Margaret River and surrounding communities while the Water Corporation will join forces with the locals to carry out an $800,000 water efficiency program.

State to spend $100m in Margaret River

The state government will spend over $100 million on new water infrastructure in Margaret River and surrounding communities while the Water Corporation will join forces with the locals to carry out an $800,000 water efficiency program.

Water Minister Graham Jacobs said work over the next five to eight years involves a major upgrade of the Margaret River Regional Water Supply Scheme, including a new water source and water treatment plant.

The money will also double the capacity of the town's wastewater treatment system, upgrades made to the wastewater storage dam and new infrastructure to facilitate reuse opportunities.

"As part of the works, the existing tanks and pump stations near the centre of the Margaret River business district will be relocated out of town, a change that has long been requested by the community," Dr Jacobs said.

The Minister also announced that in a separate initiative the Water Corporation would join the Augusta Margaret River Shire and local communities on one of the most innovative and comprehensive water efficiency programs yet undertaken in Western Australia.

He said the $800,000 program would include individual water use audits for local consumers, installation of new water efficient appliances in many homes and a range of education programs to make it easy for residents and businesses to become waterwise.

Dr Jacobs said an extensive program of capital works would cater for growth and tourism in the area while the water efficiency activities would build on behavioural change in water use already well under way in the area.

"The Margaret River area is experiencing significant growth and is inundated with tourists during the holidays, which puts extra pressure on water and wastewater infrastructure services," he said.

"The planned works will ensure this growth is catered for and that the local environment and public health continues to be protected into the future."

He said the Water Corporation's preferred future water source was a bore into the South-West Yarragadee groundwater aquifer east of Margaret River. Investigations had been under way since 2005 to find a suitable source with desalination, groundwater and local surface water options all considered.

"From this work it has become apparent that groundwater from a new bore into the Yarragadee, in conjunction with the existing Ten Mile Brook Dam, will be the most sustainable solution," he said.

Dr Jacobs said the corporation would progress the bore option in consultation with regulators, stakeholders and the community in the coming months as detailed planning, including pump testing, geotechnical investigations, hydro-geological modelling and environmental studies, got under way.

He said that subject to necessary approvals and planning results the new source could begin delivering water by 2012. In the interim, water would continue to be taken from the Margaret River during peak periods to help meet demands.

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