Department of the Premier and Cabinet
golf course irrigated with recycled water FOREWoRD
Climate change and a growing population mean that Western
Australia can no longer rely solely on traditional sources of water.
Finding alternative water sources is a priority for government and all possible sources must be tried and tested to determine feasible options
– environmentally, economically and socially.
The State water plan 2007 outlined the state government’s commitment to strategically and effectively manage our limited and vital water resources.
The need for a state water recycling strategy was identified within this plan.
Our government, in partnership with stakeholders, has now developed the State water recycling strategy to explore and determine how recycled water can be safely incorporated across the range of water use sectors.
We believe that recycled water has an important part to play in Western
Australia’s water future, and this strategy is a first step towards understanding how we can make the most of this resource.
Launching this strategy sparks an investigation into recycled water as an alternative water source for industry, agriculture, residential use, public open space and drinking water. Investigation needs to be under-way now to ensure this resource is used to its full potential.
Some forms of water recycling are already in operation. Regional
Western Australia has long used it to irrigate sporting ovals, and industry in the Kwinana district is currently recycling large volumes of water. However, there are many other options to consider.
While recycling will not be the only solution to the state’s water needs, it is one in a range of initiatives we need to explore to create a sustainable water future for the generations to come.
It is vital to government’s strategy of security through diversity, and as such government has committed over
$3 million to implement this strategy.
We commend the State water recycling strategy to you for consideration. Hon Alan Carpenter MLA
Premier Western Australia
Hon John Kobelke MLA
Minister For Water Resources
A waterwise garden
Recycling – a priority for government
The demand for water
The need to recycle water
The continued development of WA, in terms of both population and the economy, means that demand for water is increasing, despite demand management actions.
The drought experienced in Western
Australia in 2001 highlighted the drying climate and the need to secure alternative water supply sources.
The Perth region receives its scheme water from the Integrated Water Supply
Scheme. Water comes from a number of sources, including groundwater, surface water (dams) and, more recently, desalination. Large volumes of groundwater are used in the Perth region for public open space irrigation, agriculture and industry.
The Department of Water is undertaking significant work to reform the way we plan for and manage water in Western Australia. This includes the development of regional water plans. For more information see Planning the water future>.
In parallel with this, the Water
Corporation is also developing a strategy called Water Forever, to secure water and wastewater service delivery to Perth and the surrounding areas for the next 50 years. For more information, visit the Water Forever website at Waterforever>.
To continue to meet the demand for water, alternative water supplies are needed to supplement existing resources. Key reasons to recycle water:
• Recycled water can be used for applications that require lower quality water, thus conserving high quality water for high value uses.
• Wastewater as a source for recycling is climate independent, and is available any time of year.
• The volume of wastewater available for recycling is