Federal Minister for Regional Services and Member for Ballarat, Catherine King, today said she shared a wish with all people in Ballarat and visitors to the city that Lake Wendouree never run dry again.
Speaking at the official launch of a project to harness stormwater to support water levels in the lake and assist with the upkeep of the city’s parks and gardens, Ms King said the empty lake during the recent drought was a depressing site.
“I am proud to be part of a Government which has provided important financial assistance which will give us a much greater chance of ensuring the lake never runs dry again,” Ms King said.
“This is a jewel in the recreational crown of this city and region, with great historical and emotional significance for the whole community.
“People have proposed marriage and been married here, they have won gold medals and Heads of the Lake here or simply spent leisurely hours picnicking or meandering by its banks.
“As a community we have an obligation to ensure it is maintained as a thriving, healthy lake.
“The fact that through this project we can do just that while providing essential water supplies for the upkeep of other parks and gardens, saving valuable potable supplies for domestic use, is a real bonus.”
The Australian Government has provided $1.54 million towards the Harnessing Ballarat’s Stormwater project, which involved the installation of stormwater harvesting infrastructure around the city.
It comes on top of the massive $90 million investment by this Labor Government on the Goldfields Superpipe to secure Ballarat’s water supplies in times of drought.
The stormwater project is funded through the Government’s Water for the Future initiative under the National Urban Water and Desalination Plan.
The harvested and treated stormwater will primarily be stored in Lake Wendouree.
A key feature of the project is the delivery system which will allow the treated stormwater to be on demand for irrigation at a number of sporting precincts, in addition to Ballart Botanical Gardens, Sturt Street CBD gardens and the lake foreshore.
This delivery system will replace about 189 million litres of drinking water per year with treated stormwater and safeguard some of Ballarat’s premier public spaces during times of drought.
The ongoing energy requirements of the project will be met by renewable solar power, through photo voltaic cells which have been installed at the Ballarat Aquatic Centre and the CityWide Services Depot.
“The Harnessing Ballarat’s Stormwater project will provide significant water security benefits to the Ballarat community, and I look forward to seeing the continued improvements in this iconic lake and irrigated open spaces in the years to come,” Ms King said.