A WIMMERA town could be home to Australia’s first project that uses solar panels to create high-quality drinking water.
West Wimmera Shire Council have agreed to consider leasing 29 hectares of land at Kaniva to Countrywide Energy for five years.
Countrywide Energy director Geoff Drucker said the company would look to improve drinking water in the town.
“The town doesn’t have drinking water, so we want to use renewable energy to power a system that will extract groundwater and treat it,” he said.
“The system would be solar-powered and deliver high-quality drinking water for the town.
“It will be the first town in Australia where this technology is deployed and the state government is aware of the project.”
Mr Drucker said Countrywide Energy was a company that aimed to add economic or social value to regional communities through the use of renewable energy.
“We were contacted by West Wimmera Shire council, asking if there was a way we could provide economic development to the area,” he said.
The project will be at the Kaniva aerodrome. “So far, we have been given a list of conditions that a lease would have to consider,” Mr Drucker said.
“If we are satisfied with the lease that is presented to us, we will then look at moving forward.
“We will also work with a Scandinavian company that has been involved with similar systems that have cleaned some of the dirtiest water in China.
“We are also working closely with GWMWater.”
Mr Drucker said the project would be a first for Australia and Kaniva could become a pilot for other towns.
“It will put Kaniva on the map,” he said.
“It would be a great project and great for the area.”
West Wimmera Council came up with conditions for a proposed lease at a meeting on Wednesday.
Chief executive David Leahy said it was an exciting proposal for a small town.
“Nothing is locked in yet but the entire region could benefit from this project,” he said.
“There are other towns with similar drinking water issues that would also have great use for this technology.”
Mr Leahy said looking at development opportunities with renewable energy was a way to ensure the region’s future.
“The interest from Countrywide Energy shows the region is open for business,” he said.