Water savings a bonus for Cunderdin Ag College
A project to help save precious drinking water has come to fruition at one of WA’s leading agricultural colleges. Wheatbelt NRM has teamed up with the Cunderdin Agricultural College and the Department of Agriculture and Food WA to invest in rainwater tanks and cut their reliance on scheme water. The cost of the project has been more than $100,000 but will save between one and three million litres of drinking water each year. Wheatbelt NRM’s Natarsha Woods said the project was about using existing resources more efficiently. “This is a great opportunity for the college to become more self-reliant and teach good water management practices to its students and of course there is the financial bonus,” Natarsha Woods said. “At the moment the college is using drinking water to flush their piggery which just doesn’t add up. “This project will be used as an educational tool to compare water bills before and after, and students will be able to calculate roof size to tank size which enforces the concept of large sheds having rainwater tanks.” Four 250,000 litre tanks have been delivered to the college and will be plumbed into the piggery flushing system. The piggery is set up with flush buckets that constantly fill and tip, and then water runs through the piggery before being collected in an evaporation pond. Cunderdin Agricultural College teacher Alec Fissioli said the project had another valuable use. “I represent the college on the Local Emergency Management Committee which has been formed to deal with emergency situations,” Alec Fissioli said. “LEMAC includes members of the police, fire brigade, ambulance, shire and other organisations, which all would recognize that this water is significant for the town in general. “If there was an earthquake, air disaster, fire or some other event, the college is an important mustering point during an emergency situation. “This water is hugely important and having access to it through these tanks means a lot.” Wheatbelt NRM’s Natarsha Woods said the Cunderdin Agricultural College was chosen for the project because it demonstrated a year round need for non-potable water. “By introducing something as simple a rainwater tanks, we’re saving drinking water, reducing ground water recharge, cutting erosion from summer storms and helping establish a secure supply of water,” Natarsha Woods said. The project has been jointly funded by the Department of Agriculture and Food WA and the State and Commonwealth governments through Wheatbelt NRM and the Cunderdin Agricultural College.