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Merredin Sucessfully Secures Desalination Project

Published on Friday, 30 September 2022 at 4:00:00 PM

Fast Facts:
• A desalination plant will be installed in Merredin in 2022/23 after the Shire of Merredin was successful in securing a partnership with the State Government WaterSmart Farms initiative.

• The Shire has also been successful in securing separate funding of $99,000 through the State Government’s Community Water Supply Project, which will support the installation of the desalination plant including new infrastructure, standpipes, and desilting of existing dams. This will be matched by a further $50,000 contribution from the Shire.

• The desalination unit will treat brackish bore-water to produce 80kL of high-quality water per day.

• The project will improve water security in Merredin.

• The total value of the project is $400,000, consisting of the donation of the de-salination unit from WaterSmart Farms, Community Water Supply funding and a Shire contribution.

Merredin has been selected as one of only four locations throughout WA, to take part in a desalination technology trial. This project will be completed in partnership with Water Corporation, Murdoch University and Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development as part of the Water Smart Farms initiative.

Led by the Department of Primary Industry and Regional Development (DPIRD), the WaterSmart Farms Project will trial desalination technology in different parts of regional WA. The desalination plant to be installed in Merredin as part of the two-year program will be one of the largest in the trial, able to deliver around 80kL per day of high-quality water.

To support the trial, the Shire of Merredin also applied, and successfully received a further $99,000 of funding from the Department of Water and Environmental Regulations Community Water Supply program, which will go towards the installation of the unit and associated infrastructure.

Shire President Mark McKenzie expressed his excitement about Merredin being selected both for the trial, and the Community Water Supply funding: 

“It is terrific news for our Engineering team, who are looking at future engineering solutions to boost local water supplies beyond scheme water in a drying climate for our community.

Both the desalination unit and this grant, will kick start the infrastructure required to boost local water supplies and improve our water security, and we would like to thank the State Government for their commitment to Merredin.”

The Shire’s Project Manager Daniel Hay-Hendry said: “This project enhances the Shire’s long-term objective to improve water security and providing options like emergency water sources for our local farming community.”

“The project is an important trial for Merredin against a background of climate change. This unit will treat brackish bore water to produce 80kL plus, of high-quality water per day that will be available for community use, and improve water security in Merredin.” he said.

“Excess water will then be integrated into the Shire’s irrigation network in order to maintain the towns green spaces and support the local agriculture industry during times of drought. This will in turn improve the Shire’s water security by reducing dependence on rainfall for irrigation.

“The research partnership with Murdoch adds an important element which will assist us to monitor and get the best outcomes from the unit.”

“Overall, this project enhances the Shire’s long-term objective to improve our water security and providing options for emergency water sources locally.”

The desalination project strongly aligns with the Shire of Merredin’s strategic vision for environment and sustainability, which focusses on the Shire of Merredin observing a number of sustainable water and energy harvesting, conservation and usage practices and reducing waste through increased recycling, re-use, and reduction.

Features of the project include the installation of the desalination unit, work to de-silt existing evaporation ponds, and infrastructure to pipe the desalinated water into the Shire’s tanks and our dams.

The project will include minor earthworks, pre-cast footings, pipework to run excess water to the Shire’s storage network, new pipework to and from storage tanks, a solar power system for sustainable power generation and an easily accessible swipe card standpipe for community access, and desilting of the existing evaporation basins.


Backgound info.

WaterSmart farms

Community Water Supply Program

Or please contact the Shire of Merredin on (08) 9041 1611.

Media Contact
Rose Crane 0407 053 013

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