More recycled water for the Bellarine

Water Minister Lisa Neville celebrated the completion of Stage 2 of the recycled water pipeline at Bennetts on the Bellarine winery. (Supplied) 278973_01

Ash Bolt

More wineries and growers on the Bellarine Peninsula now have access to recycled water for irrigation with the expansion of the recycled water pipeline in Portarlington now complete.

The $2 million project means recycled water can now be supplied to agricultural and horticultural customers, including vineyards, along Portarlington Road from Scotchmans Road to Church Road.

Water Minister and Bellarine MP Lisa Neville said the increased use of recycled water for non-drinking purposes on the Bellarine Peninsula would boost agricultural production, create climate resilient tourism offerings, jobs and reduce reliance on drinking water for agriculture.

“This will create jobs and provide Bellarine Peninsula’s unique wineries and agri-food businesses with the confidence to operate and expanded capacity,” she said.

“The use of diverse water sources will ensure safe, secure and affordable water for agriculture without impacting our drinking water supply into the future.”

Ms Neville said investment in recycled water would assist Victoria to respond to the impacts of climate change.

Planning for stage three of the project, which includes an upgrade of the Portarlington Water Reclamation Plant to provide 450 megalitres per year of lower salinity recycled water for high value agriculture and horticulture on the Bellarine, is under way.

The state government will contribute $2 million towards Stage 3 for the project along with $5.5 million from the Commonwealth and $6.4 million from Barwon Water.

Barwon Water chair Jo Plummer welcomed the investment for the third stage.

“We welcome the significant state support for this important project, which will give our Bellarine business customers the confidence to grow their businesses and save more drinking water for Barwon Water customers,” she said.

“The Recycled Water on the Bellarine project is helping Barwon Water maximise the value of recycled water from our water reclamation plants, with 100 per cent to be allocated to productive use by 2030.”