AN extra $400,000 is being spent on a business case to expand the Tyabb-Somerville recycled water irrigation scheme to Pearcedale.
Flinders MP Greg Hunt says the new investigation is being paid for by the federal government, Mornington Peninsula Shire and South East Water.
If proved economically viable and then built, the project will see class A recycled water from the Eastern Treatment Plant made available to farms in Tyabb, Somerville and Pearcedale.
Statistics for 2019 on the National Outfall Database show that the south eastern outfall at Boags Rocks, near Gunnamatta, services the Eastern, Mount Martha, Somers, and Boneo treatment plants, discharging about 350 ML (dry weather) and 1700 ML (wet weather) of treated effluent daily into Bass Strait.
Mr Hunt said the federal government had given $200,000 and the shire and SEW $100,000 each towards the expanded study.
The investigation was aimed at confirming demand for the water across the Pearcedale agricultural area; undertaking functional design and costing for the Pearcedale reticulation network; and, updating the economic model and detailed business case to include Pearcedale in the scheme.
The scheme is aimed at improving water security for agriculture, support crop rotation, new land irrigation and extra economic activity, provide up to 2400 ML a year of climate independent affordable water, and support an estimated $50-$60 million in agricultural production.