The two-year pilot project will develop a local water supply for the shires by using town stormwater run-off for irrigation of local parks and sportsgrounds.
The shires of Kulin, Lake Grace, Merredin and Nungarin will also pilot the Royalties for Regions-funded scheme
Agriculture and Food Minister Ken Baston said the project would cut the cost of watering local parks and sportsgrounds by up to $200,000 a year.
Mr Baston said many rural communities could not afford scheme water for irrigation in summer, which impacted on their ability to maintain parks and sportsgrounds in top condition.
‘This two-year pilot project aims to develop a local water supply by converting town run-off ” often considered a nuisance ” into irrigation water,’ he said.
‘Stormwater run-off will be captured and the town’s drainage systems and water storage capacity will be upgraded.
‘It will also ease the demand on standpipe water for emergency purposes, including water for stock and fire fighting.’
Regional Development Minister Brendon Grylls said the projects would benefit Wheatbelt communities by providing better water security and reducing the reliance on scheme water.
‘These innovative projects will help to capitalise on water availability in our Wheatbelt towns, providing the supply required to support town amenity and regional development,’ Mr Grylls said.
Shire of Toodyay President Kevin Hogg said water supplies were crucial to all the shires.
‘It would be good if we could get some stormwater to re-use in the first place though,’ Mr Hogg said, refering to the region’s lack of winter rainfall.
Shire of York President Tony Boyle described the project as ‘fantastic for York’.
Northam SuperTowns project co-ordinator Will Baston said the town had secured $950,000 funding for the scheme.
‘It will help us move more water into the Wundowie dam and link the two communities together,’ Mr Baston said.
In the Avon River basin, local governments use about 990 million litres of water each year from the Goldfields and Agricultural Water Supply, with 50 per cent of that used on regional parks and gardens.