The extension of the recycled water pipeline in Portarlington has been completed, and is expected to increase the availability of recycled water on the Bellarine Peninsula in Victoria.
The $2 million project means recycled water can now be supplied to agricultural and horticultural customers, including vineyards, along Portarlington Road from Scotchmans Road to Church Road.
The expansion has already seven new customers connected to Barwon Water’s recycled water system, with capacity for more to join.
The increased use of recycled water for non-drinking purposes on the Bellarine Peninsula will boost agricultural production, create climate resilient tourism offerings, jobs and reduce reliance on drinking water for agriculture.
The extension of the recycled water pipeline also supports the objectives of the draft Central and Gippsland Region Sustainable Water Strategy, which outlines ways to identify and develop a sustainable supply of water in Victoria’s regions.
Victorian Minister for Water, Lisa Neville, said this will create jobs and provide Bellarine Peninsula’s unique wineries and agri-food businesses with the confidence to operate and expand capacity.
“The use of diverse water sources will ensure safe, secure and affordable water for agriculture without impacting our drinking water supply into the future,” Ms Neville said.
Investment in recycled water will assist Victoria to respond to the impacts of climate change – including temperature increases, lower average rainfall, and more frequent and severe drought.
Planning for Stage 3 of the project – an upgrade of the Portarlington Water Reclamation Plant to provide 450ML per year of higher quality, lower salinity, fit-for-purpose recycled water for high value agriculture and horticulture on the Bellarine – is underway.
The Victorian Government will contribute $2 million towards Stage 3 for the project along with $5.5 million from the Commonwealth and $6.4 million from Barwon Water.
The upgrades will save more drinking water for Barwon Water customers and allow the Portarlington Plant to reuse 100 per cent of recycled water produced for agricultural purposes.
Barwon Water Chair, Jo Plummer, said, “We welcome the significant state support for this important project, which will give our Bellarine business customers the confidence to grow their businesses and save more drinking water for Barwon Water customers.
“The Recycled Water on the Bellarine project is helping Barwon Water maximise the value of recycled water from our water reclamation plants, with 100 per cent to be allocated to productive use by 2030.”