Problem to be addressed
The Myalup–Wellington Water Project is a response to increased salinity in the Wellington Dam catchment and in the dam itself, and inefficiency in the water distribution network below the dam. Increased salinity and reduced reliability of groundwater has resulted in reduced high-yield fruit and vegetable agricultural activity in the Myalup Irrigated Agricultural Precinct (MIAP), and a progressive abandonment of agricultural activity in the Collie River Irrigation District, as growers return water entitlements.
The MIAP is a key part of Western Australia’s agriculture industry, responsible for over 60% of the south-west’s horticultural production. It is considered integral to domestic supply and potential growth in Australian exports. Growers have expressed concerns about high salinity levels on their properties, and difficulty in achieving crop germination. They are also experiencing a shortage of water supply, which limits capacity for increased productivity and expansion.
The impacts of salinity and/or reduction in water allocations restrict production in the region and constrain potential export growth opportunities.
The proposed project is located in the south-west of Western Australia, approximately 200 km south of Perth, east of Bunbury. The project is made up of a number of integrated above and below dam components, targeted at reducing salinity in Wellington Dam and the surrounding area, and increasing the efficiency of water distribution infrastructure.
Economic, social and environmental value
Economic benefits include those for irrigators and water producers. Irrigators would benefit through increased production value due to an increase in the number of hectares farmed and a shift to more valuable products. The producer, Collie Water, would benefit from the sale of potable water to Water Corporation.
The proponent’s stated benefit-cost ratio is 1.6, with a net present value of $389 million (7% real discount rate).
Capital cost of initiative as stated by proponent (2017 business case) $394.1 million (nominal, undiscounted) | Australian Government contribution To be determined | State government contribution To be determined | Private sector contribution To be determined