Why providing recycled water for South East is necessary:
Fresh food producers in the South East Melbourne region need water to grow and nurture the crops that sustain local jobs and feed people across Victoria and even overseas.
With increasing demand on supply and climate change threatening the stability of Melbourne’s water resources, South East Melbourne’s food and fibre industry, which employs 7,000 workers, will increasingly depend on more efficient water use and alternative water sources.
Between 1998 and 2002, during the millennium drought, about 35,000 jobs were lost in the food and agricultural industries in Victoria as production ceased. Many businesses went under but some were able to survive by using recycled water.
Currently, South East Melbourne doesn’t have a water recycling scheme that’s able to support a large number of farms when the next drought hits.
The Eastern Treatment Plant produces high quality recycled water, known as Class A, which is more than suitable for agricultural use. Opportunities exist to connect farmers to recycled water, but getting the water to the agricultural land where it’s needed requires new infrastructure.
To ensure Victoria is prepared for potential natural disasters, funding support is needed for two projects that will improve access to recycled water in the south east; a business case for the Pakenham water recycling project to make it possible to produce Class A water at the Pakenham Plant, as well as funding to support Stage 1 of the Somerville Tyabb project.
Working towards improving access to recycled water for farms in the south east will deliver a secure water future for the region, safeguarding thousands of jobs and the future of the regional economy.
Key ask: Complete a business case for the upgrade of the Pakenham Water Recycling Scheme and fund Stage 1 of the Somerville Tyabb project
SEM is calling on the Government to provide funding support for two projects that will improve access to recycled water for farmers in the south east, this includes:
- $2.3 million in funding support for Stage 1 of the Somerville Tyabb project, including an irrigation pipe from the Eastern Treatment Plant at Carrum Downs to supply Class A recycled water to farmers.
- $150,000 for a business case into the Pakenham water recycling project, which would see the Pakenham plant upgraded to make it possible to produce Class A water.
If you want to know how you can help SEM advocate for this project, please contact us on firstname.lastname@example.org