Water and bushfire planning
Ensuring you have an adequate water supply is an important part of bushfire planning.
As the state’s water resource manager the Department of Water ensures there is no red tape restricting landholders in their preparation for bushfires.
Our water rules support landholders or occupants in ‘at risk’ bushfire areas with groundwater bores and access to surface water from rivers, streams and creeks. This includes those with access to scheme water, which the government advises should not be relied upon in times of bushfire.
Both water licensees and unlicensed water users with domestic garden bores and/or riparian rights to stock and domestic water, can prepare for a bushfire by taking and storing water as part of their bushfire emergency plan.
In the case of licensed water users, this water does not count as part of your annual entitlement, and we recommend you keep a record of the amount of water taken to support your fire plan and that you ensure it is used for emergency fire situations only.
Landholders factoring water availability in a fire plan need to make sure water is accessible and address other issues such as emergency power to run bores and pumps.
Landholders also need to be aware that bores and dams can also be called upon by Department of Fire and Emergency Services and Department of Parks and Wildlife during bushfire emergencies.
The department encourages landholders to ensure whoever is fighting the fire has access to draw points where needed.
Specific details about bushfire planning including how to integrate water needs in your bushfire plan are available here.
Emergency bushfire water supplies in dryland areas
The government has an established network of bores and dams that are sources of emergency firefighting water supplies in regional areas. These supplies are known to local government and fire brigades and can be used for firefighting.
Scheme water and bushfires
The government recommends not to rely on scheme water during bushfire emergencies. For more information read this release by the Water Minister Mia Davies Make water supplies part of your bushfire plan. You can also visit Water Corporation’s bushfire advice page.