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Water and sewer infrastructure more resilient to a changing climate

23 February 2023

Community water and sewer systems across north-east Victoria are now more resilient to the growing impacts of climate change and natural disasters.

North East Water has increased the options of using off-grid power supplies at sites during or after times of bushfire, drought, flood, heatwaves and storms thanks to an $800,000 Victorian government grant.

John Day, General Manager Environment, Systems and Operations, said ‘behind the meter’ power systems will help keep water and sewer infrastructure operating in emergency situations.

“The project has seen the installation of several fixed generators, solar and battery systems, and the purchase of a fleet of mobile generators”, Mr Day said.

“It’s also allowed us to upgrade our operating systems, so they work smarter and more efficiently when alternate power is being used.

“Townships that benefit the most include Beechworth, Benalla, Dartmouth, Myrtleford, Tallangatta and Walwa, although the fleet of mobile generators can be used anywhere in the state if needed.

“The new fixed generator in Benalla has already been used for 24 hours during a recent storm, while our mobile generators were dispatched to help Goulburn Valley Water and Coliban Water during the December floods.”

Mr Day added, “We’re now seeing real impacts of a changing climate within our local area resulting in an increase in the severity of natural disasters.”

“This project helps us lessen the impact of these events on our services, ensuring minimal disruption to customers.

“We are committed to climate change mitigation, and with operating efficiencies similar those included in this project, our costs are lower which in turn keeps bills affordable for customers.”
Funding for this project was provided from the Victorian Government Repair and Replacement of Essential Water Infrastructure Program as well as $300,000 from North East Water’s capital expenditure program.