Critical recycled water schemes
The Department of Natural Resources, Mines and Energy can declare a recycled water scheme critical to ensure that it continues providing recycled water.
A critical recycled water scheme is declared to ensure:
- that it continues to operate and meet the essential water supply needs of the community or industry
- that any risks to public health posed by the supply of recycled water are managed appropriately.
As a recycled water provider of a critical scheme, or other entities (e.g. the owner of the pipes in a dual reticulation scheme) you may be subject to additional requirements.
For example, you must give extended notice before permanently stopping supply from a critical recycled water scheme. The department can authorise alternative arrangements to ensure the continued operation of the scheme, and use additional dispute resolution powers if required.
Schemes that must be declared critical
The department must declare a recycled water scheme critical if the scheme is supplying or proposing to supply recycled water to:
- augment a drinking water supply via a source supply (e.g. a dam)
- provide at least 500 kilolitres of recycled water a day for dual reticulation
- provide at least 5 megalitres of recycled water a day for use in electricity generation.
This does not prevent the department from declaring any other recycled water scheme critical if necessary to meet the essential water supply needs of a community or industry.