• High-tech surveillance to inspect more than 160km of pipelines

The Water Corporation will use aerial surveillance to inspect more pipelines in the Goldfields and Agricultural Region Water Supply Scheme (GAWS) following a successful trial of the new cutting-edge technology last year.

Water Minister Mia Davies said the Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV) would survey more than 160 kilometres of pipeline this month, which was a more efficient, integrated and safer way to inspect the condition of pipes rather than doing it by foot.

"Given the scheme is made up of more than 9,000km of pipeline, this is the perfect region to take advantage of this technology," Ms Davies said.

"An operator on the ground will fly the UAV at a height of 60 metres, taking high-resolution photos of the pipelines directly below and will upload the images into the corporation's mapping system.

"The images will be examined for signs of wear and tear and the corporation will carry out preventative maintenance, as part of the Farmlands water supply project."

The UAV started surveying on April 12 between Southern Cross and Koolyanobbing, and throughout this month will cover 19 different sections of pipeline across the Goldfields and Wheatbelt, finishing near Grass Valley.

Most of the aerial surveillance will be carried out across isolated paddocks and along road reserves, however the corporation will notify residents beforehand if they live close to the inspection area.

Fact File

  • The corporation conducted a trial of surveillance of about 20km of farmlands water mains in November 2015
  • GAWS supplies water to more than 100,000 customers, farms, mines and other enterprises
  • UAV assessment is part of ongoing asset management in the Goldfields and Wheatbelt regions

Media Enquiries:

Contact: Minister's office

Phone: (08) 6552 5500