Steady population growth in coastal towns and the impact of climate change 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) and the Great Southern Towns Water Supply Scheme (GSTWSS).
Our plans to secure drinking water supplies
W have a number of strategies to help secure drinking water supplies:
- Investigating the optimal route for a pipeline to connect Denmark to the LGSTWSS.
- 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.
- Developing new groundwater sources in the region.
- Undertaking feasibility studies for a future desalinated water source for the LGSTWSS.
- Implementing alternative non-drinking water supplies for local community use, such as irrigating public open spaces, helping reduce demand on high quality drinking water supplies.
Responding to climate change
During winter in both 2018 and 2019, rainfall levels across many parts of the Great Southern Region were lower than average, resulting in poor inflow to many of our surface dams in towns such as Borden, Ravensthorpe, Ongerup, Jerramungup, Salmon Gums and more recently, Denmark.
Low rainfall coupled with ongoing hot and dry conditions have also impacted on-farm storages, shire dams and Department of Water and Environmental Regulation strategic community water supplies.
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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
On average we recycle 66% of our wastewater flows for beneficial community re-use across the region, including 100% re-use in Narrogin, Esperance and Katanning. In Albany, around 2,000 million litres of treated wastewater is used on an Albany tree farm each year, making effective use of this resource while well over a million trees capture some 70,000 tonnes of carbon from the environment.