Water West, a private-sector water utility, has today been granted a 25-year licence to supply sewerage and recycled water services in Western Australia by the Economic Regulation Authority (ERA).
The Water Services Operating Licence issued by the ERA will allow Water West to deliver a local municipal-scale reticulated sewerage scheme, including recycled water, to the planned urban town site expansion of North Dandalup in the fast-growing Peel Region.
Jeff Strahan, Managing Director of Water West said this decision would open the WA water market to genuine competition and reduce the impact on dwindling water sources.
“Water West now has the go ahead to deliver locally-based reticulated sewerage and recycling services, alleviating pressure on Government to build expensive water infrastructure, and potentially opening up new residential communities across Western Australia,” Mr Strahan said.
Water West will partner with the land developer to fund, build, operate and retail a sewerage scheme for 2250 new homes, primary schools and shopping centres at North Dandalup. The proposed system collects and treats local wastewater to deliver fit-for-purpose recycled water, which can be used to irrigate the town’s new open spaces.
“By recycling local wastewater, Water West will not only deliver a reticulated sewerage scheme that was not otherwise available to the new town site, but will also facilitate larger and greener open spaces,” Mr Strahan said.
“With approval granted by the ERA, we’re now working with a number of developers to design, build and operate local water schemes that best meets the needs of new greenfield and infill developments in several parts of Perth.”
Allison Hailes, CEO of the Urban Development Institute of Australia was pleased that Water West had been granted a licence to supply sewerage and recycled water services in WA.
“This is a positive step forward,” she said. “The more suppliers we have in the market, the more competitive it is, which results in better outcomes for developers, the environment and communities.
“As access to water and other resources starts to become more expensive, we are seeing the growth of smaller, local models of service delivery, which means that developments that may have been unviable in the past can go ahead. I expect this will start to become the norm in the future.”
Water West is part of Enwave, a water services business that operates across Australia. Enwave’s existing water services licences cover a population of 80,000 residents and 40,000 workers, including sewerage and recycled water schemes now operating in Sydney and the Hunter Region, and planned schemes in the Central Coast and Queensland.
Mr Strahan said the climate and geography of Western Australia was ideal for the municipal-scale water, sewerage and recycling systems offered by the company.
“Our approach is to use our tried and tested technology, which will ultimately deliver recycled water to thousands of residences and businesses across Western Australia,” he said.
“As a private company, we are focussed on understanding and being flexible to the design and financial needs of our developer clients. With the significant capital backing and reputational focus of Brookfield, we are well positioned to service our clients and customers for the long term.”
For more information, please read the ERA News item.