Investigating alternative water sources, adapting to climate change.
South East Water is working in partnership with Southern Rural Water and the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning to investigate the feasibility of upgrading and expanding the existing Pakenham Recycled Water Scheme to supply Class A recycled water to the Pakenham South and Cora Lynn 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.
Pakenham Regional Recycled Water Scheme investigation area
There are many benefits to the scheme
Increasing agricultural production
Provides farmers with a high quality and reliable alternative water supply.
Reducing the reliance on 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 avaialble for the agricultural industry.
Reducing the amount of recyled water going out to sea
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.
Frequently Asked Questions
South East Water is working with Southern Rural Water and the Department of Environment, Land Water and Planning to develop and implement the project. We're investigating the feasibility of upgrading and expanding the existing Pakenham Recycled Water Scheme to supply Class A recycled water to the agricultural industry in the Pakenham South and Cora Lynn region.
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 understand the demand for recycled water in the area and the price customers are willing to pay for this service.
Once we complete our investigations, we will identify a price point that customers will need to pay for the service and ask them to sign-up to the scheme. We will need a minimum number of customers signed up to the scheme in order to proceed with the next stage of planning for the project.
We acknowledge that some residents and businesses may have been approached in the past about supplying recycled water to the Cora Lynn area. These previous projects were found to be too expensive to progress to the next stage which we acknowledge can be frustrating for those who were willing to connect.
The current scheme includes repurposing existing recycled water infrastructure in the area which will keep the cost of the first stage as low as possible. We are also planning to have further stages as supply and demand for recycled water increases.
We encourage anyone located in the investigation area who is interested in being supplied with recycled water to get in contact with our team as this will help us determine if there is enough demand in the area for the first stage to progress.
We will have a better indication of the price of the business case is finalised in mid-2021.
The project is in the early planning stages and a supply area has not been confirmed. We have identified a broad area of investigation and will refine this area as planning progresses and more information becomes available. See map below for the proposed investigation area.
We are initially targeting landholders, farmers and businesses in the Cora Lynn and Pakenham South areas who are located within the investigation area, 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 once we’ve confirmed volumes with potential customers by late 2021.
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.