Investigating alternative water sources, adapting to climate change.
We’re working in partnership with Southern Rural Water and the Department of Energy, Environment and Climate Action (DEECA) to progress the design of the Westernport Irrigation Scheme.
The Scheme will upgrade and expand the existing Pakenham Recycled Water Scheme to supply Class A recycled water to the Pakenham South, Cora Lynn, Vervale, Catani, Iona, Bayles, and Dalmore region, for non-residential purposes. By working together, we're aiming to provide the best outcomes for our customers and adapt to climate change by investing in alternative water sources which support current and future water use in the region.
The Westernport Irrigation Scheme, formerly referred to as the Pakenham Regional Recycled Water Scheme, will be completed in multiple stages. The initial stage proposes to supply local irrigators with Class A recycled water from the Pakenham Water Recycling Plant to Cora Lynn. The next stage looks to extend the initial network into the Vervale, Catani, Bayles and Iona region/s.
Later stages of the project then propose to expand the supply network to the Dalmore region to bring more customers into the scheme.
There are many benefits to the scheme
Increasing agricultural production
Provides farmers with a high-quality and reliable alternative water supply.
Providing an alternative water source to surface water and groundwater for irrigation
These types of water are fully allocated, subject to restrictions and vulnerable to the impacts of climate change.
Supporting local food production and creating local jobs
By making more water available for the agricultural industry.
Promote a circular economy by retaining water within the region
Excess treated wastewater is discharged to the ocean.
About Southern Rural Water
Southern Rural Water is responsible for managing irrigation districts, the regulation of surface water and groundwater licensing, and storage dams across the southern third of Victoria.
Their service area covers 88,000 square kilometres, or 37 per cent of Victoria, stretching from the South Australian border to the New South Wales border, and from the Great Dividing Range to the Victorian coast. They deliver the water for essential food and fibre production, rural and urban businesses, electricity generation, and the raw water for treatment for urban water corporations to supply towns and cities.
Field investigations in your area starting early-July 2023
Westernport Irrigation Scheme investigation area - July 2023
Frequently Asked Questions
South East Water is working with Southern Rural Water and the Department of Energy, Environment and Climate Action to develop and implement the project. We're conducting field investigations to inform and progress the design of upgrading and expanding the existing Pakenham Recycled Water Scheme to supply Class A recycled water to the agricultural industry in the Pakenham South, Cora Lynn, Vervale, Catani, Bayles, Iona and Dalmore region/s.
Over the next six months, we will carry out desktop studies and field investigations to understand what will be involved in the construction of the scheme. This will be supported by engagement with potential customers to further understand the demand for recycled water in the area.
We will have a better indication of the price once we've undertaken the functional design and costing which is anticipated to be completed by late-2023.
The initial stage proposes to supply local irrigators with Class A recycled water from the Pakenham Water Recycling Plant to Cora Lynn. The next stage looks to extend the initial network into the Vervale, Catani, Bayles and Iona region/s. Later stages of the project then propose to expand the supply network to the Dalmore region to bring more customers into the scheme. See map for the proposed investigation area for Stage One.
Landholders, farmers, and businesses who are located in the Cora Lynn, Vervale, Catani, Bayles, Iona and Dalmore region/s within, or in close proximity to, the investigation area who meet some or all of the criteria listed below.
- Use large volumes of water for irrigation or agricultural purposes.
- Grow multiple crops and irrigate for long periods across the year.
- Has existing capacity in onsite storage to hold recycled water or would consider constructing additional storage.
Preference will be given to users who will take water throughout the year and provide a regular demand.
We will also consider opportunities for new enterprises looking to start in the area and will require large volumes of water.
We are currently looking at pricing models as part of the development of the business case.
We will meet with customers to understand predicted volumes of recycled water and willingness to pay which will help inform pricing models for the scheme.
We will have a better indication of what you will need to pay in late-2023.
We are targeting customers who will use large volumes of recycled water throughout the year to ensure the scheme will provide value for money. We will consider all applications to connect to the scheme but will prioritise customers who will use large volumes of recycled water.