The Water for Food Wellington Dam project has received a $37 million funding boost from the State Government through Royalties for Regions.
Water Minister Mia Davies said the $380 million industry led initiative by Collie Water proposes to reduce salinity in the dam and increase sustainable water supply options to enable growth in the Collie River Irrigation District and the Myalup Irrigated Agriculture Precinct.
“Collie Water was chosen by the State Government as the preferred solution provider following an Expression of Interest process in 2015,” Ms Davies said.
“The project is a significant economic development proposal involving private proponent Collie Water, the State Government and the Commonwealth Government to increase production, create jobs and economic uplift in the region.
“This innovative project to freshen water in Wellington Dam builds on investigations conducted over many years.
“Wellington Dam was built in 1933, however rising salinity is limiting its value as an agriculture resource and many farmers in the area are choosing not to irrigate with water from it. Wellington Dam was decommissioned as a drinking water source in 2013.
“The Collie Water proposal involves the diversion of saline water flowing into Wellington Dam from the Collie River East Branch to a mine void. From there that water will then be treated in a new desalination plant located near Collie.
“A new Burekup Weir will be built upstream from the current weir to enable water to be delivered by gravity. Existing open irrigation channels will be replaced with a new pressurised pipe network,” Ms Davies said.
Collie Water’s proposal requires both private and public sector investment. The Commonwealth Government has invested $1 million towards due diligence and feasibility assessments.
Funding is now being sought from the Commonwealth through the National Water Infrastructure Development Fund.