Minister for Climate Change and Water, Senator Penny Wong, said the South East Tasmania Recycled Water Scheme, developed by Clarence City Council, would also improve the ecological health of the Derwent Estuary by reducing wastewater discharge.
“The South East Tasmania recycled water scheme will increase the amount of recycled water available for irrigators and reduce the amount of wastewater discharged into the Derwent Estuary,” Senator Wong said.
“This funding contribution honours an election commitment and is part of the Rudd Government’s $12.9 billion plan Water for the Future to secure the long-term water supply of all Australians.”
Water for the Future has four key priorities: taking action on climate change, using water wisely, securing water supplies and supporting healthy rivers.
Funding for the South East Tasmania project is drawn from the $254.8 million National Water Security Plan for Cities and Towns which is funding practical projects like pipelines, water saving infrastructure and water treatment plants.
Stage One of the South East Tasmania Recycled Water Scheme will connect the Rokeby sewage treatment plant to the existing Coal River irrigation area to make available an additional 730 megalitres per annum of recycled water.
The Rudd Government funding will pay for construction of a 900 megalitre buffer dam at Back Tea Tree Road to enable storage of recycled water when demand for irrigation purposes is low. This will allow additional water to be made available to the Coal River irrigation area when required.
Julie Collins MP, Federal Member of Franklin, said that by 2011 when this work is complete, up to 2400 megalitres per annum of recycled water will be available for irrigation, an increase of 1100 megalitres over current supply.
“By reusing recycled wastewater, this scheme will make available more water for irrigation at the same time as improving the health of one of Tasmania’s major waterways,” Ms Collins said.
“I am pleased to be able to deliver this election commitment and I congratulate the Clarence City Council on its initiative in developing this project.”