Tenders called for desalination plant within WA’s $396m Myalup-Wellington project

Wellington Dam

Image via DPAW WA

Tenders have officially been opened for the construction of a desalination plant for a major Western Australian project, the now $396m Myalup-Wellington water project.

WA’s mega Myalup-Wellington water project will help facilitate far greater water reliability and mitigate ongoing water quality issues, namely caused by excess levels of salt, which will support local agriculture businesses with crop yield, output quality, longevity, and the health of farm animals.

The project is being jointly funded by the Federal Government investing $140 million with a $50 million loan, the Western Australian Government funding $37 million, along with Collie Water and private local investors funding $169 million.

The desalination plant will act as a key component within the project to significantly reduce salinity in the Wellington Dam, which is currently Western Australia’s second largest water reservoir.

State-based water business Collie Water are a key driver of the project and have taken the lead in managing developments and expediting design plans.

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Mr David Littleproud, Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources, said that saline water will be pumped out of the Collie River to mitigate saline inflows into the Wellington Dam.

A private desalination facility will be built near Collie to produce potable water to be delivered to the Harris Dam,” Mr Littleproud said.

“The Burekup Weir will be improved to provide increased head pressure, while existing open irrigation channels below the weir will be replaced with a closed pipe network to extend pressurised water supply and increase the area under irrigation.”

“The project is also working to deliver new irrigation water to Myalup to support expansion of the region’s existing highly productive irrigated agricultural industry,” said Minister Littleproud.

The mega water project, also sometimes referred to as the Collie Water solution and Dexter's last deal, aims to divert high saline inflows upstream from Wellington Dam for desalination while significantly improving the water quality in the dam.

Agriculture in the area has struggled over the years with poor water quality and source reliability, where these issues have been significantly affecting growing conditions and crop yields.

Water Minister Mia Davies has spoken about the water solution, highlighting the key workings of the project."The Collie Water solution, an initiative by Harvey Water and Aqua Ferre, was selected following an expression of interest process conducted in late 2015," said Ms Davies.

"The proposal involves the diversion of saline water from the Collie River east branch into a mine void; the treatment of that water in a new desalination plant near Collie; a new weir at Burekup and a gravity-fed pipeline system to replace open irrigation channels in the Collie irrigation district."

Source: Western Australian Government

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