Premier Mark McGowan and Water Minister Dave Kelly today announced $15 million to construct a new water treatment plant to meet the future water supply needs of Greater Bunbury.
Construction of the plant will start in the first half of 2018 and will support local jobs over a two-year construction period.
The plant will secure a sustainable water supply for Aqwest's 35,000 customers and is capable of producing 10 megalitres of drinking water per day - equivalent to four Olympic swimming pools.
Water for the Bunbury area is currently drawn from several bores along the coast where, due to the impacts of climate change, the risk of increasing salinity levels threatens water quality.
The new water treatment plant will extract water from a higher quality in-land groundwater bore, creating greater water production cost efficiencies and delivering benefits to customers.
Aqwest operates an integrated treatment and distribution system comprising 12 bores, six water treatment plants, four reservoirs, one water tower and about 380 kilometres of water mains providing water to approximately 17,000 water services.
Comments by Premier Mark McGowan:
"This is an important project that will secure the future drinking supplies of the Greater Bunbury region.
"Importantly, it will also support local jobs for people in Bunbury during construction, as well as ongoing operational jobs."
Comments attributed to Water Minister Dave Kelly:
"The South-West of Western Australia is one of three places in the world most impacted by climate change.
"This project will help protect water quality in the Bunbury area by safeguarding against seawater intrusion caused by climate change.
"The new treatment plant will improve water quality in the area and reduce Aqwest's water treatment costs, which will be of benefit to customers."
Comments by Bunbury MLA Don Punch:
"This is an important project to support the future development and growth of Bunbury.
"The project will be an example of the McGowan Government's commitment to local projects supporting local jobs and will contribute to employment in the construction sector.
"This is exactly the type of project we need for Bunbury, one that improves our local infrastructure, supports the growth of our city and delivers on local jobs."