Bore restraint call to support Gnangara
Released 27 Nov 2009
Perth's groundwater resources provide significant value in maintaining the cities amenities and there are now more than 176,000 domestic bores in Perth.
Increased efforts by the department to manage the draw on the mound along with consistent rains over winter saw the Gnangara groundwater levels reach the annual peak of the cycle the highest since October 2005.
Director of Water Resource Use Rob Hammond said the groundwater system's health had shown recovery and stabilisation over the past four years but a drying climate meant the mound's ability to replenish itself from over consumption remained an ongoing management issue.
"The November monitoring of the mound's health indicates an increased draw on the mound from private bore users in the last month that have coupled with no rainfall to start the mound's annual decline period," Mr Hammond said.
"While overall the mound's health has stabilised since 2005, we want people to understand that the department's efficiency programs need to be supported by the community for proper management to take place."
Mr Hammond said the department had made a decision to reduce the Water Corporation's draw on the mound as one aspect of combating the effects of reduced rainfall patterns on the vital groundwater system.
"We are working hard to keep this water source sustainable - which means it has water to use without negatively affecting the very important wetlands and ecosystems that rely on its levels being healthy.
"We are asking domestic bore users to cooperate by keeping their use to a minimum on rostered days.
"Perth people are very lucky that despite having suffered a drying climate, they still get access to water for lawns and gardens over the hottest part of the year which does not happen in the eastern seaboard's capital cities.
"This provides significant amenity and lifestyle benefits to the Perth community."
Mr Hammond said the department was calling for increased attention to efficiency from all sectors, not just domestic bore users.
"This month we issued the final Gnangara groundwater areas allocation plan," Mr Hammond said.
"The plan reflects the directions of the draft Gnangara Sustainability Strategy and has three main aims: to take less water from the system overall; encourage individuals to use water more efficiently; and maintain a secure supply for current and future development, while protecting the environment.
"It sets the balance between taking groundwater for short term use, and retaining it to maintain the ecology, meet social and cultural needs, and provide for future public and private use.
Mr Hammond said as part of that plan, all current and future Gnangara water users will be expected to conserve water, use water more efficiently, and effectively manage the impacts of their water use.
The Gnangara groundwater areas allocation plan and the department's statement of response to public comments on the plan are available on www.water.wa.gov.au or call 6364 7600.
Contact: Peter Collins
Phone: (08) 6364 6848 / 0434 603 441