Infrastructure Australia has upgraded the Myalup-Wellington Water Project from a Priority Initiative to a Priority Project on the Infrastructure Priority List.
The Myalup-Wellington project is a response to increased salinity in the Wellington Dam and its catchment, and to inefficiency in the water distribution network below the dam.
The project proposes to divert high saline inflows upstream from Wellington Dam for desalination, improving the quality of water stored in and released from the Dam for agriculture.
Infrastructure Australia CEO, Philip Davies said the project was previously included on the Infrastructure Priority List as a Priority Initiative highlighting its potential to develop industry and agriculture in south-west Western Australia.
“Following assessment of the business case, our independent board determined that the project will provide a net benefit to the Australian economy, and included it as a Priority Project on the Infrastructure Priority List,” Mr Davies said.
While the board determined that the project will provide economic benefit, it noted that the case for Australian Government funding is not clear.
“While we are confident that the project would have net benefits, they would mostly be private benefits accruing to Collie Water and the agricultural producers,” Mr Davies said.
“Funding this project through a government grant would therefore be inconsistent with the National Water Initiative and the National Water Initiative Pricing Principles.”
The National Water Initiative requires jurisdictions to implement water pricing and institutional arrangements based on user pays principles and full cost recovery of services for water storage and delivery in rural and urban systems.
The Project Evaluation Summary is available on our website: www.infrastructureaustralia.gov.au/project-evaluations.
Next month, Infrastructure Australia will publicly release its fifth Reform Series paper titled Reforming Urban Water: A National Pathway for Change.