Recycled water to boost farming

recycled water

The Bellarine Peninsula will have access to high quality recycled water, unlocking new agricultural and horticulture production opportunities.

Lisa Neville, Minister for Water this week announced funding towards Barwon Water’s $11.1 million Water Reclamation Plant which will deliver a guaranteed high-quality water supply irrespective of seasonal conditions.

The innovative project involves installing an ultra-filtration and reverse osmosis plant to produce fit-for-purpose recycled water at a significantly lower salinity than the existing high salinity Class C water. The upgrade will improve water quality allowing it to be used for a wider range of agricultural purposes.

The upgrade to the recycled water plant supports the draft Central and Gippsland Region Sustainable Water Strategy, which outlines ways to identify and develop a sustainable supply of water in Victoria’s regions.

Barwon Water plans to supply 450ML of low salinity, fit-for-purpose recycled water per year to new and existing agricultural and horticultural customers, nearly doubling the amount of recycled water used on the Bellarine.

Tracey Slatter, Barwon Water Managing Director said the Bellarine project is helping Barwon Water achieve its Strategy 2030 aim to recycle 100 per cent of the wastewater treated at its water reclamation plants.

The upgrade will save more drinking water for Barwon Water customers and allow the Portarlington Plant to reuse 100 per cent of its recycled water and presents opportunities for more farms and businesses to connect to this valuable resource.

The Andrews Labor Government is contributing $1.97 million, with $5.53 million from the Commonwealth Government and $3.56 million from Barwon Water.

“We have been working with Bellarine Peninsula farmers and Barwon Water over the past four years to understand the best way to support our businesses, this involved improving the quality of recycled water and making more of it available,” Neville said.

“The project will secure year-round access to water for local producers in times of lower than average rainfall, giving them confidence to grow their businesses in the region.”

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