The Department of Agriculture and Food and the Royalties for Regions program last year allocated $2 million to the Storm Water Reuse Project, which involves the shires of York, Northam, Lake Grace, Kulin, Toodyay, Nungarin and Merredin.
Co-ordinated by natural resource management group Wheatbelt NRM, many towns have finished construction of dams, tanks, roadside curbing and the installation of solar pumps to capture and store rainwater.
The work will help minimise the use of expensive scheme water piped from Mundaring Weir to water parks, ovals and town gardens. Wheatbelt NRM’s stormwater project officer Don Woodcock said the project helped make Wheatbelt towns more resilient.
‘In Lake Grace and Newdegate, float-controlled solar pumps at storage dams have helped save money, transferring water between basins,’ Mr Woodcock said.
‘In Nungarin, the recent rain has shown the renovated roadside drainage network has been able to capture and store stormwater that would otherwise have been lost.
‘In Merredin, the replacement of an open storage dam with tanks will save roughly 7000 kilolitres from evaporation and leakage.’
Mr Woodcock said sports and recreation grounds were one of the greatest water uses in a rural town environment.
‘With the predicted change in rainfall patterns under climate change scenarios, planning for water capture makes social, environmental and economic sense,’ he said.
For details about developing water management plans for your shire, call Mr Woodcock on 0427 934 112 or 9670 3100.