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The Victorian Government has announced funding towards Barwon Water’s $11 million Portarlington water reclamation plant – which plans to deliver a guaranteed high-quality recycled water supply, despite seasonal conditions.

Barwon Water plans to supply 450 million litres of low salinity, fit-for-purpose recycled water per year through the new plant, to new and existing agricultural and horticultural customers, nearly doubling the amount of recycled water used on the Bellarine.

The project will secure the future of key local industries and create dozens of local jobs, while preserving Bellarine Peninsula’s unique landscape and reducing reliance on drinking water for agriculture.

The Victorian Government is contributing $1.97 million to the project, with the Federal Government funding $5.53 million and Barwon Water $3.56 million. 

The innovative project involves installing an ultra-filtration and reverse osmosis plant to produce fit-for-purpose recycled water at a significantly lower salinity than the existing high salinity Class C water. 

The upgrade will improve water quality allowing it to be used for a wider range of agricultural purposes.

Victorian Minister for the Hon. Water, Lisa Neville MP, said, “We have been working with Bellarine Peninsula farmers and Barwon Water over the past four years to understand the best way to support our businesses. This involved improving the quality of recycled water and making more of it available.

“The project will secure year-round access to water for local producers in times of lower than average rainfall, giving them confidence to grow their businesses in the region.”

The upgrade to the recycled water plant supports 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.

The upgrade will also save more drinking water for Barwon Water customers and allow the Portarlington plant to re-use all of its recycled water and presents opportunities for more farms and businesses to connect to the resource.

Barwon Water Managing Director, Tracey Slatter, said, “The project is helping Barwon Water achieve its Strategy 2030 aim to recycle 100 per cent of the wastewater treated at our water reclamation plants.”

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