Water from the Collie region is used by major industry, irrigators, agriculture, local public water supply and great southern towns, including part of the Wheatbelt. Water also supports an environment that is highly valued by local people for cultural and recreational use.
The Department of Water completed a program of investigation in this area that is part funded by the Australian Government's $12.9 billion Water for the Future initiative.
The project occurred close to the town of Collie where there are two major water storage dams; Wellington and Harris. The project area also covered the Collie, Harris and Bingham rivers as well as the groundwater resources in the local coal basin.
What were the outcomes of the projects?
The final report – Water for the future – Integrated water resource management for the Collie Catchment summarises the implementation and findings of the project. The most significant findings and management implications for the project areas were:
- Salinity recovery and mine void management are now viewed as part of the solution to meet future water needs in the Collie Catchment
- The community and industry have increased confidence in our allocation planning decisions due to better data, models and a greater understanding of our environmental, social and cultural values.
- Industries accepted the need to work together to collectively secure water needs for future expansion
Through this project we have also:
- upgraded the groundwater models
- developed tools to assess and manage the risks and water assets associated with mine voids
- eveloped a Two Res model for managing our reservoirs
- developed a 'Collie service provider policy framework'
- undertaken river surveys
- undertaken social and cultural values surveys
What were the products generated through the project?
The following are reports completed and published:
- Collie basin Groundwater Modelling, June 2010
- Collie Basin Groundwater Assessment, State of the Basin, July 2010
- Mine voids Management Strategy (I), Pit Lake Resources of the Collie basin, Nov 2009
- Mine Voids Management Strategy (II), Review of potential health risks associated with Collie pit lakes, June 2010
- Mine Voids Mangement strategy (III), A monitoring strategy for Pit lakes and connected waters, June 2010
- Mine Voids Mangement Strategy (IV) Conceptual Models of Collie basin Pit Lakes, June 2010
- Mine Voids Management strategy (V), Water Quality Modelling of Collie Basin Pit Lakes
- Development of a Daily Water Balance for Wellington Reservoir, Aug 2009
- Wellington and Harris Reservoirs REALM Model, Operating manual, Mar 2010
- Business case for Phase B – Salinity Treatment and Disposal Project, 2010
- Investigation of management frameworks and Options for the proposed Collie Water Utility, Oct 2008
- Collie-Wellington Salinity Recovery Scheme – Preliminary Economic Evaluation of Options, Mar 2010
- Independent Review of Options to reduce Salinity in the Upper Collie River Basin, May 2010
- Collie River – Ecological values assessment, April 2009
- River Action Plan for the Collie Catchment, April 2010
- Nyungar Values of the Collie River, Mar 2009
- Lower Collie River Social Values Study, Nov2008
- Brunswick River Catchment social values study, April 2010
- Identification and mapping of groundwater dependent ecosystems associated with the Collie River, Apr 2010
- Communications and community engagement strategy, Integrated water resource management of the upper collie Catchment, Apr 2010
We also produced the following unpublished report. It was prepared to provide the funding body with a statement of progress of the communication project.
- Completion of Stage 1 Community involvement plan
Members of the public who are interested to access information within the report are invited to contact the Department of Water Library on 6364 6425.
How will the information be used?
The information will directly support improvements to future management of the resources. It will make a contribution to the next water management plan. It will include a combination of robust science and information from stakeholders and the community about economic, environmental, social and cultural water issues. The water allocation plan will determine new abstraction limits and help secure water for the Collie area and the state, in line with the requirements of the National Water Initiative.