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In an effort to secure future water supplies across our state, thousands of modular, hexagonal discs have recently been installed at dams in the southern agricultural region. 

The discs are known as the HexaCover system, where many individual floating plastic modules join to form an evaporative blanket. 

These modules self-adapt to the shape and level of water in storage, reducing evaporation by 73% and saving more than 1.6 million litres of drinking water! 

One of the thousands of HexaCover discs now deployed in the Great Southern region.
The Hexacover discs are made from 100% recycled plastic and last for up to 25 years.

Why Southern WA? 

The Great Southern region is a drying climate and in recent years, some locations have required water carting during the summer period. 

Following a successful implementation at the Wellstead Dam near Albany, the HexaCover system is now being trialled in Ravensthorpe, Salmon Gums and Lake King in the Great Southern region. 

The 19-month trial will conduct water quality sampling as well as use weather stations, water loggers and time lapse cameras to monitor the effectiveness of the HexaCover system in the local conditions.  

The HexaCover system at Ravensthorpe dam
The HexaCover system at Ravensthorpe dam.

Better, safer solutions

Majority Aboriginal-owned construction company, Benang installed the covers, developing a unique solution that ensured the safe and efficient delivery of each disc.

By using a long-armed conveyor belt, typically reserved for transporting sand or slurry, the team were able to remotely dispatch the cover system with no hydraulic hoses or human intervention.  

This innovative delivery method reduced the need for our people to work under suspended loads or near steep banks, while the lack of hydraulic hoses minimised risk of water contamination during the process. 

The $2.8 million project is jointly funded by the WA Government and through the Commonwealth Government’s National Water Grid Fund, which aims to improve water access and security by delivering nationally important water infrastructure projects that unlock potential, build resilience and promote community growth and sustainability. 

A long-armed conveyor belt dispatching HexaCover discs
A long-armed conveyor belt dispatching HexaCover discs.