Mass planting greens up

BALANCE: A member of the tree-planting crew at work on the Grahamstown Dam project. As well as countering carbon emissions, the planting will improve fauna habitats.
BALANCE: A member of the tree-planting crew at work on the Grahamstown Dam project. As well as countering carbon emissions, the planting will improve fauna habitats.

HUNTER Water has planted more than 100,000 trees around Grahamstown Dam with 30,000 more to go in Irrawang Swamp next month as part of a long-term carbon offset initiative.

A total of 300,000 native trees and shrubs will be planted by Hunter Water through the Tree Planting for Carbon Offsets Program.

The program is one of three being undertaken by Hunter Water to counter emissions produced from the Lower Hunter Recycled Water Initiative.

The initiative will allow water treatment plants to be equipped to recycle more water in the future.

Hunter Water spokesperson Jeremy Bath said the planting program was a way for the corporation to try to remain carbon neutral.

"The trees will offset the carbon emissions produced from the operation of recycled water plants," he said.

"The tree planting will provide the added benefit of enhancing the habitat for local fauna and long-term water quality improvements."

Mr Bath said the plants were expected to offset more than 80 per cent of the 80,000 tonnes of carbon that will be produced by the water recycling initiative over a 20-year period.

The program is funded by an $8.8 million grant through the National Urban Water and Desalination Plan, which is part of the government's Water for the Future initiative.

Tree planting on the edge of Irrawang Swamp, downstream of the dam spillway, will commence in June.

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