Secure groundwater resources for Esperance
Released 25 May 2007
Sustainable and environmentally-responsible water allocations for the rapidly-expanding Esperance region are some of the key targets in the Department of Water's latest groundwater plan for the area.
Department of Water District Manager, Sharon Stratico, said the Water Management Plan for the Esperance Groundwater Area provides guidelines on ensuring water is allocated and used sustainably in and around Esperance.
"The plan sets out how available water will be shared in the catchment area between the town water supply utility, commercial uses, recreational activities, parks and gardens, and household use," Ms Stratico said.
"Part of our role in the Department of Water is to investigate, monitor and regulate water use and water users. This Plan outlines how our local team can keep an eye on direct or indirect effects those activities may have on the environment, including any rise in salinity or drop in water levels.
"Using our most up-to-date data, allocation limits have been set with consideration for the ecological, social and economic values of the area, and to help determine how much water is available for use.
"But this is an ongoing process and with each new piece of information we can review and refine the figures, and the Management Plan, as necessary.
"This is all about a long-term management approach by the Department of Water, without losing sight of what needs to be done in the here and now," she said.
Ms Stratico said that key projects for the region were being supported by funding through the National Action Plan for Salinity and Water Quality, administered through SCRIPT.
"One project is looking at vegetation and wetland dependency on groundwater, and some of the social impacts associated with groundwater and wetlands," Ms Stratico said.
"Other programs involve the greater Esperance area to assess the effects of all kinds of development and activities on wetlands, including urban expansion and groundwater use. Plus, work is ongoing to manage water source protection requirements so we can balance development and availability without compromising drinking water quality."
Department of Water Acting Director General, Paul Frewer, said the Department was acting locally to tailor its management plans to suit each region, but the broader strategy takes all of WA's water resources into consideration.
"The Department of Water was established to help overhaul water resource management in this State and the work we're currently undertaking will give us a better picture of how much water is available and how it should be used. The Esperance Management Plan is an important part of that bigger picture," Mr Frewer said.
For the latest Management Plan and more information on the Department of Water's projects in Esperance, contact Sharon Stratico on (08) 9841 0125 or visit the Department's website at www.water.wa.gov.au. A feedback form is also available on the website.
Contact: Peter Collins
Phone: (08) 6364 6848 / 0434 603 441