Water Matters - Issue 29


Geelong's Northern Water Plant official opening

Aerial view of the Northern Water Plant

Aerial view of the Northern Water Plant

A new water treatment plant that will save 1.87 gigalitres of potable water per year for the city of Geelong was officially opened on 30 April by Parliamentary Secretary for Sustainability and Urban Water Amanda Rishworth and Victorian Minister for Water Peter Walsh.

The Northern Water Plant is the first of its kind in Australia to produce Class A quality recycled water from sewage and industrial wastewater generated from Geelong's northern suburbs.

Treated water is used to irrigate local community facilities, such as sporting grounds, and supplied to the Shell Geelong Refinery for reuse. It also reduces the amount of wastewater discharged into the ocean, improving the health of local waterways.

The Australian Government provided $20 million funding towards this project from the National Urban Water and Desalination Plan under the Water for the Future initiative.

For more information visit Geelong-Shell Water Recycling Project (also known as the Northern Water Plant).

Victorian Minister Peter Walsh and Parlimentary Secretary Amanda Rishworth unveiling the plaque at the Plant's official opening

Victorian Minister Peter Walsh and Parlimentary Secretary Amanda Rishworth unveiling the plaque at the Plant's official opening

Award-winning Water Recycling and Reuse Program

Midcoast Water has been recognised with a win at the annual Institute of Public Works Engineers Australia, NSW Division, Excellence Awards for their Water Recycling and Reuse Program.

The program reuses over 430 million litres of treated wastewater annually to irrigate local golf courses and open spaces in the towns of Hawks Nest, Tuncurry, Bulahdelah and Harrington on the mid north coast of New South Wales.

Through the recycled water schemes, wastewater from treatment plants at each location now undergoes an additional treatment in accordance with the Australian Guidelines for Water Recycling, benefiting each community by reducing the amount of drinking water and groundwater directed to irrigation and helping secure water supplies.

This project is supported by the Australian Government's Water for the Future initiative through the National Water Security Plan for Cities and Towns program.

For more information visit MidCoast Water - Water Recycling & Reuse Program.

Australia hosts two international delegations

Australia is an international leader in its approach to water resource management.

The Department of Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities engages internationally to promote sustainable water management.

The department recently hosted delegations from China and India for water policy dialogue and information sharing. The meetings were underpinned by bilateral memoranda of understanding between Australia and these two countries.

The meeting held with senior representatives from the Ministry of Water Resources of the People's Republic of China, led by Vice Minister Jiao Yong, continued to promote high level water policy linkages and information exchange on water management issues of mutual interest to the Australian and Chinese Governments. It included study tours to Seqwater Flood Operation Center and the Snowy Hydro Scheme.

The Second Formal Meeting of the Indian-Australian Joint Working Group on Water Resource Management committed to extending the Memorandum of Understanding between Australia and India beyond 2014. The Indian delegation's visit also included a study tour to the Lower Molonglo Water Quality Control Centre in the ACT, and the Goulburn Murray Irrigation District; Pakenham Water Recycling Treatment Plant; and the Victorian Desalination Plant in Victoria.

These useful exchanges demonstrate the high regard other countries have for Australia's water policy reforms and technical expertise.

6th Biennial Lake Eyre Basin Conference, 17-19 September 2013

 M. Turner.

Pink-eared ducks at Cooper Creek crossing, Birdsville Track. Photo: M. Turner.

Continuing the tradition of connecting with regional Basin communities, this September the LEB Conference will visit the South Australian rangelands town of Port Augusta. Individuals, organisations and governments with an interest in the sustainable management of the Basin will gather and exchange information and views relevant to the implementation of the Lake Eyre Basin Intergovernmental Agreement.

The Conference will seek to mix strong community input with scientific contributions as a platform for rich discussion about the management of the Basin's water and related natural resources into the future.

The two key goals of the Conference are:

  • to share knowledge of water and natural resources, their use, enjoyment and management, across the Lake Eyre Basin
  • to advance Strategic Adaptive Management in the Lake Eyre Basin.

For more information visit Lake Eyre Basin Biennial Conferences