Western Australia Minister for Water Graham Jacobs
Minister Announces Draft Framework To Simplify Approvals Process For Use Of Non-Drinking Water
Victor P Taffa
A further step was taken today towards easing the way for Developers and other Water Users to make more practical use of Recycled Water and other Alternative Non-Drinking Water Sources.
Water Minister Graham Jacobs announced the release of the Department of Water’s ‘Draft approval framework for the use of non-drinking water in Western Australia’, which promises to simplify the Approval Process and Unravel Red Tape.
“Non-drinking water sources can be treated to a level suitable for uses such as irrigating gardens and public parks and for in-house uses such as toilet flushing.” Dr. Jacobs said.
“In this way, these sources provide suitable, fit-for-purpose water which offsets the use of highly treated Drinking Water.”
“A number of State Government Departments are involved in the regulation of non-drinking water schemes, including the departments of Water; Health; Environment and Conservation; and Planning.”
“Up until now, proponents had to approach each Government agency individually for advice on approval requirements, leading to often confusing and sometimes conflicting advice.”
“With this new simplified process, the Department of Water will take the lead to assist proponents through their approval requirements.” Dr. Jacobs said.
“The Government is confident that the approval framework will streamline the requirements for proponents and developers to make it easier to implement non-drinking water schemes.”
The development of this framework has been a collaborative effort between:
- The Departments of Water,
- Environment and Conservation,
- Planning and Commerce (the Building Commission and the Plumbers Licensing Board);
- The Water Corporation;
- Non-Government Entities – the Urban Development Institute of Australia (WA) and the Western Australian Local Government Association.
The framework covers the use of Wastewater, Stormwater, Greywater, Rainwater and Groundwater through Storage and Delivery Systems, such as Managed Aquifer Recharge and Third Pipe Schemes.
The approval framework has been incorporated into the Department of Water’s Waterwise community toolkit, a recently released online resource to assist developers, local governments and households to evaluate opportunities to implement water use efficiency and non-drinking water sources.
The approval framework supports the Government’s strategy to manage the drying climate and has been released initially as a draft to allow it to be tested and refined in the future.
Many Years ago then Liberal Leader Colin Barnett was almost hounded out of Politics by the Labor Party, The Greens and sections of the Media because of his support for a Pipeline Scheme. Former Premier Sir Charles Court championed the Ord River Scheme and similarly Premier Barnett is a man of stature and vision. As with Former Prime Minister John Howard Colin Barnett held his resolve and Western Australia is now reaping the benefits of his Leadership.
Editor Victor P Taffa was at a meeting in Newcastle, New South Wales recently and suggested that since Coffs Harbour experienced 5 floods in 2009 that a Pipeline is built to channel water to drought affected areas instead of building the Tillegra Dam. One Spokesman at the meeting made mention that Pumping Water is heavy and inefficient. It would seem incongruous that modern Pumping methods cannot be improved to solve our water problems.
Similarly in Melbourne the Brumby Government is building the North-South Pipeline while taking water from surplus supply that will impact on Farmers. Sometime ago Editor Victor P Taffa wrote in The Southern Thunderer about this and put forward the idea of Pumping water from the North-South Pipeline into the Murray River. Communities on the New South Wales side of the Murray River are being abandoned and ignored by the Keneally Government and the Murray-Darling Authority must not “Rob Peter to Pay Paul” when it comes to the long term security of water supply.