HexaCover installation underway at Ravensthorpe

  • Floating dam covers installed in Ravensthorpe, Salmon Gums and Lake King
  • Evaporation halved during recent trial by university researchers
  • Supports drinking water security in the face of declining rainfall
  • $2.8 million project jointly funded by State and Commonwealth Governments

Innovative floating covers that reduce evaporation by more than 70 per cent have been installed at three dams in
southern agricultural areas, in a further effort to secure drinking water supplies impacted by climate change.

The $2.8 million Water Corporation project saw hundreds of thousands of modular, hexagonal discs – known as a
HexaCover -installed on dams in
Ravensthorpe, Salmon Gums and Lake King.

Annual rainfall across the region has declined by around 20 per cent since the 1970s, with seasonal water carting
needed ineach community to secure drinking water in the face of increasingly unreliable rainfall.

Made from 100 per cent recycled plastic, the covers were shown to reduce evaporation by 73 per cent – saving
more than 1.6 million litres of drinking water - during a recent trial involving University of Western Australia
researchers at Wellstead, 90km east of Albany.

Their effectiveness will be further studied during an extended 19-month trial at Ravensthorpe, Salmon Gums and
Lake King.

The covers were installed by majority Aboriginal-owned construction company, Benang, and will reduce the need
for water carting while also helping protect water quality.

The project was delivered by Water Corporation and jointly funded by the Federal and WA Governments as part
of the $43.8 million Western Australia Connections package. Australian Government funding is provided through
the National Water Grid Fund (NWGF).

The NWGF 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. 

The WA Government, through Water Corporation, has allocated more than $290 million for new drinking water
and wastewater projects in regional WA in FY 2023-24, including $43.4 million for projects in the Great Southern. 

Quotes attributable to Senator for WA Glenn Sterle:

“We’re working to deliver secure and reliable water to communities right across Western Australia.

“Projects like this that use innovative covers to minimise water evaporation mean we are protecting what is one
of our most valuable and precious resources.

“This is providing Western Australia with resilience as we face a dry and changing climate.”

Comments attributed to Water Minister Simone McGurk:

“Securing drinking water supplies is fundamental to the growth and development of climate-resilient communities
across WA.

“Nowhere is need greater than in southern agricultural areas, where the impacts of climate change are more
pronounced than anywhere in Australia.

“This project, funded jointly by the State and Commonwealth Governments, will significantly reduce evaporation
and yield more drinking water from rainfall.  

“Alone, this project will not eliminate the need for water carting, nor is it only answer to the supply challenges in
the region. However, it is one of a suite of measures this Government is taking to ensure communities have secure,
sustainable drinking water well into the future.”  

Comments attributed to Member for Agricultural Region Shelley Payne:

“These covers have been shown to dramatically reduce evaporation rates during trial use here in WA, and I look
forward to seeing what impact they make at Ravensthorpe, Salmon Gums and Lake King.

“Rainfall is increasingly unreliable in the region, so it’s fantastic to see innovative solutions being put into action
that help protect valuable drinking water sources in the community.”

HexaCovers deployed across a dam in Ravensthorpe