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INTELLIGENT WATER SOLUTIONS
treated wastewater undergoes advanced treatment to produce
recycled water. The recycled water is recharged to an aquifer for
later use as a drinking water source.
Highly treated wastewater from the Beenyup Wastewater
Treatment Plant in Craigie, a suburb north of Perth, is processed
through three water treatment methods to achieve potable quality:
1. ultrafiltration filters out suspended materials
2. reverse osmosis removes any remaining dissolved materials
3. UV light is used to take out any trace microorganisms that may
This water, which is now drinking quality, is then recharged into the
aquifer. The water will remain in the aquifer before it is drawn out
at another location, treated at a conventional water treatment plant
and added to the water supply scheme.
If you have ever visited Disneyland in California, chances are you
have already tasted recycled water, as this scheme has been used
there since the 1970s.
Just last year, I announced that stage one of Perth’s Groundwater
Replenishment Scheme was operational, and that construction
was starting on stage two of the project. By the time stage
two is complete in 2019, we will double the recharge capacity
of the scheme from 14 to 28 billion litres of water each year.
That is enough to supply 100,000 households, and contributes
towards Water Corporation’s target of recycling 30 per cent of all
wastewater by 2030.
By understanding how the different parts of the groundwater
system are connected, and where water moves through the
system, especially from the superficial aquifer into the deeper
aquifers, we have been able to adjust the amount of groundwater
taken at sensitive locations to reduce the impact on lakes and
wetlands. Groundwater replenishment has allowed us to take this
a step further.
Advanced scientific investigation and modelling by the Department
of Water and Environmental Regulation (DWER) has enabled us
to select locations for recharge into deep aquifers that can help
to maintain water levels in the superficial aquifer, which is also
used as a water source and supports groundwater-dependent
environments like wetlands and lakes.
The stage two reinjection site options were modelled by DWER,
and were based on the ability to ensure that an equivalent volume
of water to that reinjected could be redrawn, without causing
additional impact on the superficial aquifer.
As a result of this work, we now know that the careful location of
abstraction and replenishment – as far as is practical – can be
used to make our aquifer use more effective and sustainable in
the drying climate.
Recycled water from stage two will travel through a 13-kilometre
pipeline out to two new recharge sites. One bore will be drilled
around 500 metres down into the confined Leederville Aquifer,
while the second bore will recharge water around 1.2 kilometres
deep into the Yarragadee Aquifer.
These locations were chosen as they would best support the
sustainable use of Perth’s groundwater system by providing a
maximum pressure benefit to the aquifer and a 100 per cent
return for Water Corporation on abstraction for the volume
As the battle against climate change continues, science and
innovation is the key to finding solutions to help Perth to adapt.
Also key to dealing with climate change was having a government-
owned water utility. Being government-owned and whole-of-state
allows Water Corporation to plan long term and develop integrated
solutions that would be impossible in countries with multiple
small utilities and overlapping accountabilities. If the Water
Corporation was a private company, it would have been difficult
to encourage them to plan and invest in costly long-term water
saving and supply options, particularly in the case of groundwater
As the Western Australian Minister for Water and Science, I am very
proud of the scientists, engineers and experts we have at the Water
Corporation and DWER. Without their expert knowledge and sound
research, and the forward thinking of past Labor governments, our
situation in Perth would be drastically different.
Water Minister Dave Kelly with Wanneroo MLA Sabine Winton, Kingsley MLA
Jessica Stojkovski and Water Corporation staff reviewing the design plans for
stage two of Western Australia’s innovative Groundwater Replenishment Scheme
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