Water Corporation (Western Australia)

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Water Corporation
Water Corporation.svg
Agency overview
Formed 1 January 1996
Preceding Agency Water Authority of Western Australia
Jurisdiction Government of Western Australia
Agency executive Sue Murphy, chief executive officer
Website www.WaterCorporation.com.au

The Water Corporation is the principal supplier of water, wastewater and drainage services throughout the state of Western Australia. It is the seventh successive agency to deal with the services in Perth, Western Australia.

With offices on Perth, Bunbury, Albany, Karratha, Geraldton, Northan and Kalgoorlie, the corporation's services, projects and activities span 2.6 million square kilometres.

The corporation employs over 3,000 people and manages an asset base over $15 billion[1] (AUD) in water supply, wastewater, drainage infrastructure and bulk water for irrigation.

The corporation is owned by the Western Australian Government and is accountable to its sole shareholder, the Minister for Water. Most of the corporation's surplus is returned to the Government as a dividend to contribute to the development of the state, with the remainder invested in capital works.

Formation[edit]

The Water Corporation was created in January 1996, in a restructure of the water industry in Western Australia.

The Water Authority in turn had been created in 1985 through a merger of the former Metropolitan Water Authority, which operated in Perth, the state capital, and the water and wastewater operations of the former WA Public Works Department.

Earlier agency names[edit]

  • Metropolitan Water Works Board[2] 1 October 1896 – 1 April 1909
  • Metropolitan Board of Water Supply and Sewerage 1 Apr 1909 – 1 January 1910
  • Metropolitan Water Supply, Sewerage and Drainage Department 1 Jan 1910 – 1 July 1964
  • Water Supply, Sewerage and Drainage Department 1 Jan 1912 – 1 January 1921
  • Metropolitan Water Supply Sewerage and Drainage Board 1 Jul 1964 – 1 Jul 1982
  • Metropolitan Water Authority 1 July 1982 – 1 July 1985
  • Water Corporation 1 January 1996 –

Operations[edit]

During 2012–2013, the Water Corporation:

  • Delivered water services to 1,001,362 properties[3]
  • Supplied 357.3 gigalitres (billion litres) of water[4]
  • Collected 156.2 gigalitres of wastewater [5]
  • Managed 33,823 kilometres of water mains, 14,782 kilometres of sewer mains and 2,544 kilometres of drains[6]

Main water supply schemes[edit]

Integrated Water Supply Scheme delivers 279 billion litres of water each year to over 1.5 million people in Perth, the Goldfields and Agricultural region and some parts of the southwest.[7] It is the largest scheme managed by the Corporation, and in 2011–12 water supplied into the IWSS came from the following sources:

  • 31% surface water (from our dams – this water can also contain a proportion of water that originated from groundwater or desalination, as we bank water from these sources in our dams).[8]
  • 46% groundwater [9]
  • 23% desalinated seawater.[10]

Wastewater systems[edit]

The Water Corporation operates 109 wastewater treatment plants across Western Australia.[11] Approximately 80% of the wastewater collected and treated throughout the state occurs in the Perth metropolitan area at the corporation's three largest wastewater treatment plants at Woodman Point, Beenyup and Subiaco. Two other large capacity wastewater treatment plants are being developed to support Perth's expanding population:

  • North of Perth is the Alkimos Wastewater Treatment Plant, which began operation in 2011. It will be expanded over time to reach a capacity of 160 million litres a day.
  • The East Rockingham Wastewater Treatment Plant is being developed and is expected to be operating by 2015. Initial capacity will be 20 million litres a day, but it will be expanded to reach a capacity of 160 million litres a day.

The corporation uses 100% of produced biosolids in the metropolitan area for a range of purposes including agricultural and forestry.

Irrigation[edit]

The Water Corporation provides more than 240 gigalitres per year of bulk water supplies to irrigation schemes operated by farmer cooperatives in the northwest (Ord Irrigation District), midwest (Gascoyne Irrigation District) and southwest (South West and Preston Valley Irrigation Districts).

Drainage[edit]

The Water Corporation manages main drainage systems in Perth and some regional areas to prevent flooding and optimise land usage while minimising impacts on property and protecting the natural environment. These services involve about 2,250 kilometres of rural main drains and more than 900 kilometres of drains in the Perth metropolitan area. Local councils manage most of Perth's smaller reticulation drains. Corporation drainage services benefit 320,000 hectares of agricultural land in parts of the South West and Albany on the south coast.

Planning for the future[edit]

To ensure water services for a state that is growing rapidly yet at the same time suffering reduced rainfall, the Water Corporation plans well ahead on multiple fronts. It aims to reduce water use and increase wastewater recycling while developing new water sources with a strong focus on those that are independent of climate. At the same time, it aims to reduce environmental impact from its operations.

In October 2009, the corporation released its 50-year plan,[12] Water Forever: Towards Climate Resilience, which provides a portfolio of options to manage demand and supply balance by 2060 through:

  • Reducing water use by 25%
  • Increasing water recycling to 60%
  • Developing up to 100 billion litres of new water sources

References[edit]

External links[edit]