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Documentary to Educate on Water in Melton

17 Jul 2007

When Rockbank resident Michael Dalla Rosa was trying to irrigate his 38-hectare, 7000 tree olive grove property, 'Mannerworld Olive' in 2003, he consulted Western Water to try and use recycled water for irrigation.

But there was no local infrastructure to support his request, and Michael, 32, had to remain content with a small bore on the property.

During his exploration of irrigation practices in the area, Michael found out Western Water had already established a Sunbury-Melton pipeline fed from a Sunbury Waste Water Treatment Plant and that the local water authority was a pioneer of recycled water usage in Victoria .

Recycled water usage by Western Water currently operates at 81 per cent efficiency, compared with a national average of just nine per cent. It hopes to be 100 per cent efficient by 2013.

While the Sunbury-Melton pipeline could not be used on Michael's property, his initial research has not been for no avail.

Indeed, as a Certificate IV in Screen student at Northern Melbourne Institute of TAFE (NMIT), Michael has turned his early findings into recycled water usage as a basis for a documentary on Western Water for his NMIT studies.

The six-minute video production is being produced and directed by Michael with other NMIT students as the crew.

'Previously to investigating my property needs for irrigation, I didn't know about the existence and benefits of recycled water. My wife, Angela and I, were always wary of water as the Rockbank area is part of a dry belt and doesn't get a lot of rain even in a normal wet season. When we moved there in 2001, we became water conscious and the house area has a biodiversity sewerage system using recycled water for the garden. But it was no where near enough for the olive trees,' Michael said.

When he had to make a documentary for an NMIT study project, he opted to focus on recycled water usage by Western Water as a promotional corporate video for the authority.

'With the drought and our severe water restrictions, recycled water usage is a topic in the spotlight,' Michael said.

'Western Water is in the forefront of recycled water usage and doing my research over the past few weeks has made me even more environmentally conscious where we should all try for a future where each household can be self-sufficient in terms of water usage and energy sources.

''It's opened up my eyes to the reality of needing to conserve water and be energy conscious and with two young children now, I've become more conscious of their future.'

Michael said he hoped the documentary would be educational in providing information and knowledge to the community.

'My goal is to produce documentaries about the environment and topical issues to educate and inform people about issues that impact on our lives,' he added.


Interview / Photo Opportunity

Media enquiries should be directed to the NMIT Communications Officer, James Gardener, on (03) 92691579, 0413 483 182 or

NMIT (Northern Melbourne Institute of TAFE) - Situated on seven campuses and six training centres throughout Melbourne's north, NMIT delivers vocational training, higher education and lifelong learning capabilities for a global workforce. NMIT forges partnerships with community, industry and government to produce practical, solution orientated graduates capable of making meaningful contributions to their chosen field of endeavour.