Draft Water allocation plan for Upper Collie out for comment
Released 08 Jan 2008
The planned expansion of both the coal and the power generation industries and the search for water for the Integrated Water Supply System, means it is timely to release the draft water management plan for the Upper Collie area - Department of Water's Acting Director General John Ruprecht said today.
"The Department of Water's draft Upper Collie water management plan outlines how competing water demands can be managed while ensuring there is enough water for the local environment," he said.
"Our plan builds on over a decade of research, assessment and modelling of water resources in the Upper Collie area that covers the Wellington and Harris reservoirs, the Collie River and its tributaries, and the groundwater of the Collie Coal Basin.
"We have developed the water management plan considering key stakeholder issues, including the significant contribution of the Collie region to the State's economy, the impacts of water use on the local environment and legislative and policy requirements for water use and management."
Mr Ruprecht said key directions of the department's draft plan include recognising the varied quality of water resources in Collie and the State's water needs. The plan outlines how water will be allocated on a 'fit-for-purpose' basis and includes a reserve of 12 gigalitres of water per year, from the Wellington Reservoir, for future public water supply.
"Water from the Wellington Reservoir is currently used for irrigation but is underutilised due to its brackish quality," he said.
"Both State and Federal Governments are investing significantly in the Department of Water's project to reduce the salinity of the reservoir. Our water management plan will ensure that water from the Wellington Reservoir is allocated to return the highest benefit to the State, which includes providing water for public water supply."
Other key directions in the plan include ensuring large water users manage the impacts of their water use, particularly from mine dewatering, and allowing groundwater to recover in areas where mining no longer occurs.
The department is currently holding a three-month public comment period,that ends on Friday March 28, 2008.
"I encourage all stakeholders to provide comments at this important stage so that our final water management plan allows us to effectively manage the Upper Collie's highly valued water resources", Mr Ruprecht said.
A copy of the draft Upper Collie water management plan can be obtained from the Department of Water on tel: 08 6364 7600 or by visiting the web site at www.water.wa.gov.au/allocationplanning.
Contact: Peter Collins
Phone: (08) 6364 6848 / 0434 603 441