A pipeline expected to alleviate desperate water shortages in the town of Manjimup in the southern part of Western Australia has come in on schedule and under budget.

Western Australia Water Minister Terry Redman says the construction of the 49-kilometre pipeline linking Manjimup to the Bridgetown Regional Water Supply Scheme is now complete.

He says the pipeline has the capacity to deliver up to four million litres of water to Manjimup Dam when needed, and will be used whenever the dam is at or below 50 per cent capacity, depending on the season.

Construction of the pipeline began early last year after long periods of dry conditions had left water storage levels within the Manjimup Dam (now at 24 per cent) at historic lows.

In addition to the pipeline, 16 leak detection devices have been installed at premises of high-water use commercial enterprises.

Redman says the pipeline will significantly improve the town’s climate resilience.

“After record low inflows into Manjimup Dam last year and the implementation of Stage 6 watering restrictions to the area, residents can now take comfort in knowing their future water supplies are guaranteed,” he says.

Manjimup Pipeline

Manjimup Pipeline

Originally budgeted at $31.3 million, the project came in roughly 6.5 per cent under budget at $29 million.

The pipeline was part of the Bridgetown Regional Water Supply Scheme, a development begun in 2007 designed to upgrade dams which supply Mallalyup as well as Bridgetown, Boyup Brook, Hester, Greenbushes and Balingup, and connect the towns to a singular network of supply sources and infrastructure.

The scheme is being rolled out in a staged approach. A groundwater bore was completed near Nannup in 2009 and a $25 million upgrade of the Millstream Dam from 0.45 litres to one litre was completed in February this year.

Going forward, work on the Millstream-to-Greenbushes pipeline is scheduled to commence in November 2013, while the Greenbushes-to-Kirup pipeline is currently scheduled for completion by 2016.

The site for a mooted Bridgetown Regional Water Treatment Plant which it is thought will be needed to service requirements of the scheme was secured in 2011, but that plant, should it eventuate, is not expected to come online until after 2021.