Confronting the challenges of the Perth - Peel region's water availability
Released 19 Dec 2009
Mr Taylor said that despite living in the driest state in the driest continent in the world, Western Australians enjoyed the least water restrictions of any Australian state because of the department's world-leading water management and planning approach.
"The Perth Peel regional water plan 2010 - 2030: responding to a changing water climate - Draft for public comment, demonstrates our modern, adaptive and responsive management approach," Mr Taylor said.
"This draft plan applies the department's world class water management services to the community - water resource use, urban water management and services, and waterways health.
"It offers a responsible strategic direction for sustainable management of water resources for the area from Moora to just north of Waroona, stretching from the Indian Ocean to the Darling Range to the year 2030; and offers a five year action plan.
"Nowhere in Western Australia are there more pressures on our water resources than in the Perth-Peel region," Mr Taylor said.
"Sustainable management of water resources is essential for its future. The challenges we face from drying climate, rapid population and economic growth and the consequences of human actions are many.
"Our clear, dynamic vision and careful planning will help the community adapt to these challenges. We need to build on recent initiatives and become increasingly sophisticated and innovative in approach to water resource management. Meeting future needs will require exploitation of non-traditional sources, and greater efficiency in water use in all sectors."
Mr Taylor said the new plan reflected the imperative that climate variation must be taken into account in all aspects of the region's water resource management; that water demand was reduced by using water more efficiently and effectively; and that water security was provided for public and private water supply consumers.
He said the department also aimed to facilitate the use of alternative sources of water supply, restore and protect waterway and wetland health, and create water sensitive cities and towns.
The region's groundwater and surface water resources supported the ecosystems and biodiversity that made it unique, and also provided drinking water to a growing population and water for mining, agriculture, industry and tourism.
Mr Taylor said the Perth-Peel Regional Plan was the over-arching plan for the region and it provided context for other planning activities including the $7.5 million cross-government initiative - the Gnangara Sustainability Strategy - coordinated by the Department of Water - which is investigating land use, biodiversity conservation and water management options for the Gnangara groundwater system.
The plan was one of a suite of regional water plans developed by the department for the whole of the state - each acknowledging specific regional issues. Ultimately, the plans would direct decisions at state and local government levels, throughout industry and community.
"I encourage you to read this regional water plan to reach a deeper understanding of the issues and the planned solutions," Mr Taylor said.
"The draft was developed following close consultation with key stakeholders, representing agriculture, mining, local government and state government agencies and other interests in water management.
"Other contributors included the traditional stewardship ethic of the Noongar people who contributed to this model for holistic, integrated water resource management.
"The regional water plan will be reviewed every five years, and updated every ten years, to ensure its relevance as environmental and climatic conditions change, communities grow and our scientific understanding expands."
Mr Taylor invited public submissions which would be considered by the department as it developed a final plan. He was confident the final plan would provide clear direction for all parties concerned when it was adopted as state policy.
The draft plan is available from www.water.wa.gov.au/Have+your+say/Open+for+public+comment or by contacting the Department of Water on 6364 7000. Comments can be made by emailing email@example.com or post them to the Department of Water, Po Box K822, Perth, WA, 6842 by 5pm, 31 March 2010. The consultation period has been extended to three months rather than the customary two months to allow extra time over the Christmas period.
Contact: Peter Collins
Phone: (08) 6364 6848 / 0434 603 441