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Steady population growth in coastal towns, the impact of climate change and improving resource recovery are driving our plans for the Great Southern.

The region has a number of local independent town water supply schemes. There are also 2 integrated networks – the Lower Great Southern Towns Water Supply Scheme (LGSTWSS), which supplies Albany, Mount Barker, Kendenup and nearby areas. The main source of water for the LGSTWSS is the Albany borefield.

The Great Southern Towns Water Supply Scheme (GSTWSS) supplies 44 towns in the region. Harris Dam is the main water source of GSTWSS and Stirling Dam is the alternative source.

Our plans to secure drinking water supplies

In recent years, we have worked on several strategies to help secure drinking water supplies:
  • In 2021, the LGSTWSS Scheme was expanded to include Denmark. This secures the town’s supply when the local Quickup River Dam can’t meet demand.
  • A pipeline between the Stirling and Harris dams, allowing water from Perth’s Integrated Water Supply Scheme (IWSS) to supply the GSTWSS, effectively future proofing the scheme.
  • We're investigating new groundwater sources in the Manypeaks and Angove areas.
  • Feasibility studies have included a possible seawater desalination plant at our existing South Coast Water Treatment Plant in Torndirrup.

As part of our investigations into new water source options, we’re conducting environmental and Aboriginal Heritage surveys and site assessments. Marine investigations are taking place to support the potential desalination plant.

We’ve also implemented alternative non-drinking water supplies for local community use. This includes irrigating public open spaces to help reduce the demand on high quality drinking water supplies.

Responding to climate change

Low rainfall coupled with ongoing hot and dry conditions have impacted on-farm storages, shire dams and Department of Water and Environmental Regulation strategic community water supplies. To secure water supplies in these areas we utilise water carting when needed and shire fixed standpipes

Our wastewater services

We operate and maintain 20 wastewater schemes in the region. To cater for community development and growth, there have been significant upgrades to the wastewater treatment plants at Denmark, Narrogin and Albany.

Increasing water efficiency and water recycling

We’re committed to recycling as much of the Great Southern’s wastewater as possible. On average we recycle 70% of our wastewater flows for beneficial community re-use across the region. There is 100% re-use in Albany, Boddington, Kulin, Mt Barker, Tambellup, Walpole and Williams. The region’s recycling is contributing towards our statewide target of 35% by 2035.

In Albany, around 2,000 million litres of treated wastewater is used to irrigate an Albany tree farm each year. Over a million trees on the farm captures some 70,000 tonnes of carbon from the environment!