A new policy outlining arrangements for Tweed Shire Council to provide financial assistance to recycled water schemes is expected to bring recycled water use closer to its long-term target of 15 per cent.
Currently, between five and 8.9 per cent of recycled water produced at council’s wastewater treatment plants is used.
This figure, according to council’s Manager Water, Anthony Burnham, is considerably lower than the longer-term target of 15 per cent.
“Recycled water schemes can involve significant financial outlay for infrastructure delivery, planning, studies and testing and consultation – all of which are barriers to implementing recycled water schemes,” Mr Burnham said.
“To bring the water recycling levels closer to the long-term target, council is proposing to provide financial assistance for recycled water schemes. Assessment of these schemes would be on a case-by-case basis.”
The policy provides advice for people seeking council support, as well as guidance for council to assess water recycling scheme proposals.
“Water recycling is becoming a critical element for managing our water resources and is a key component of council’s Integrated Water Cycle Management Strategy,” Mr Burnham said.
He said he expected the nature of applications for financial assistance would vary considerably.
“Recycled water schemes may involve irrigation systems for crops (cane), recreational uses (race courses and golf courses), environmental initiatives (koala food plantations) or even nurseries.”