A $100,000 project is aiming to reduce the risk of bushfires impacting Portland’s water treatment plant.
Wannon Water, in partnership with the state and federal government will implement strategies to address bushfire risk at the site.
Wannon Water was awarded a $50,000 grant under the National Bushfire Mitigation Program.
It will match the funding on a dollar for dollar basis.
Wannon Water’s risk and resilience manager Sarah van Rooy said the plant was an essential asset, supplying water to the city, the aluminium smelter and the Port of Portland.
“The plant is on Crown land, surrounded by dense coastal heathland and situated upslope of vegetation, making it vulnerable to bushfire,” Ms van Rooy said.
“We are aiming to improve the security of supply by establishing strategic fire breaks and all-weather tracks suitable for fire-fighting vehicles around the perimeter of the site.
“The project will also involve upgrading building controls to the highest Bushfire Attack Level (BAL) rating of 40 and increasing fuel reduction zones with ongoing slashing and a planned burn program.”
Meanwhile, Wannon Water is encouraging its south-west customers to get involved in a new water efficiency program.
Targeted at rural and regional Victorians, the Target Your Water Use initiative is a voluntary water efficiency program designed to assist and encourage people to use water wisely.
Wannon Water retail services branch manager Steven Kearns said they had a range of programs, including permanent water saving measures, and brochures available for people interested in conserving and saving water.
“We are also proactive in contacting customers who register a spike in their water usage and encourage them to take measures to identify any leaks at their property,” Mr Kearns said.
“Using water responsibly is everyone’s opportunity to help secure water supplies and create greener and more liveable communities for now and into the future.”