Department of the Environment

Archived media releases and speeches

Senator the Hon Don Farrell

Parliamentary Secretary for Sustainability and Urban Water

Stormwater harvesting to save Geraldton's precious drinking water supplies

Media release
27 October 2011

A new stormwater harvesting and reuse project in Geraldton, Western Australia, will save more than 745 million litres of drinking water each year by 2014.

Senator Don Farrell, Parliamentary Secretary for Sustainability and Urban Water today announced $3 million in Australian Government funding for the City of Greater Geraldton's Stormwater Harvesting and Efficiency Project. The City of Greater Geraldton has agreed to match the Australian Government's contribution of $3 million.

"I'm very pleased to announce Australian Government funding for this $6 million project, which illustrates the great benefits that can be gained through communities diversifying their water supplies," Senator Farrell said.

"This project aims to save more than 745 million litres of high-quality water each year by 2014, which is equivalent to nearly 300 Olympic-sized swimming pools full of water.

"Precious drinking water supplies will be saved by redirecting stormwater from urban catchments to shallow aquifers, providing a new source of water to benefit wetlands and natural systems and to be used to irrigate local parks, sporting fields and school grounds."

The project will also implement water efficiency measures such as installing more efficient irrigation systems and developing a water conservation plan.

Senator Farrell said securing safe and reliable water supplies for communities is a key priority for the Australian Government. "The City of Greater Geraldton is leading the way in becoming a climate resistant, water sensitive city," he said.

Australian Government funding will be provided under the National Water Security Plan for Cities and Towns an element of the Water for the Future initiative.