Western Australia’s innovative groundwater replenishment scheme has received a bronze award at the recent biennial International Water Association (IWA) Project Innovation Awards in Copenhagen, Denmark.
Water Corporation’s Beenyup facility in Craigie was in the top three projects (out of 203 entries from 52 countries) in the ‘Exceptional Project Execution and Delivery’ category.
The prestigious industry recognition follows the commissioning last month of the Western Australian Government’s $320 million expansion of the scheme, doubling its long-term capacity up to 28 billion litres each year – enough water to supply up to 100,000 Perth households.
Western Australia Water Minister, Dave Kelly, said it was fantastic for such a project to have received global recognition.
“For Water Corporation to be in the top three globally in its category, with more than 200 other nominations from across the world, is a fantastic recognition for its innovative groundwater replenishment scheme and commitment to combat the effects of climate change,” Mr Kelly said.
“This pioneering initiative, which sustainably replenishes our precious groundwater supplies, is the culmination of 15 years of groundbreaking work including research and trials.
“With climate change making water supply resilience one of the biggest challenges we face here in WA, the McGowan Government’s recent $320 million expansion of the groundwater replenishment scheme will help provide a more sustainable water future for Western Australians.”
Groundwater replenishment is an energy efficient, sustainable and safe way to recycle large volumes of water naturally.
The process takes highly treated wastewater and purifies it to beyond drinking water standards. It is then banked in deep underground aquifers until it is needed years later.
In 2010, Water Corporation was the first utility in Australia and among the first in the world, to start trialling groundwater replenishment. Since then, the scheme has recycled around 60 billion litres of water.
Groundwater replenishment now accounts for around four per cent of Perth’s drinking water supply and Water Corporation aims to recycle more than a third (35 per cent) of treated wastewater by 2035.