Access to water for the bushfire season
Released 13 Nov 2014
The Department of Water is reminding water users they can store and use non-drinking water outside their entitlements as part of a bushfire plan.
Department of Water A/Director Regions Carolyn Hills said the government's water management rules allow users to have sufficient water stored to prepare for the risk of fires.
"It's important that water users understand there are rules in place to support them in their water preparations when putting together a bushfire plan," Ms Hills said.
"Water licensees and users with an unlicensed bore and riparian rights to water can prepare for a bushfire by taking and storing water above their entitlements without penalty as part of their bushfire emergency plan," she said.
"Licensed water users need to keep a record of the amount of water taken to support their plan if it takes them beyond their licensed volume."
Alternative water sources are critical to bushfire plans.
This message has been reinforced by the Water Corporation recently when they alerted users in or near bushland that, in the event of a bushfire, water supply and pressure from public supplies cannot be guaranteed in the event of a bushfire and those who choose to stay and defend their homes must have an independent water supply and pumping capability.
"In those instances water from bores, dams, tanks and streams can be accessed for emergency fire fighting without incurring penalties," Ms Hills said.
"Irrigators should also consider the accessibility of their water supplies during a bushfire.
"When considering water availability in a fire plan you should make sure water is accessible and address other issues such as emergency power to run bores and pumps."
Landholders with dams, bores and streams running through their
properties should also be aware that these water sources can also be
called upon by the Department of Fire and Emergency Services and
Department of Parks and Wildlife during bushfire emergencies.
"We encourage irrigators to ensure whoever is fighting the fire has access to draw points when needed," Ms Hills said.
"There is also an established network of government owned and sponsored emergency water supplies in dryland regional areas that can be used by landholders for fire fighting."
Contact your local government or the Department of Water on freecall 1800 780 300 or email firstname.lastname@example.org for details on their location.
Contact: Peter Collins
Phone: (08) 6364 6848 / 0434 603 441