State’s water professionals put spotlight on surface water
Released 14 Oct 2008
The future of surface water as a contributor to Perth's water supply is under the spotlight at a seminar to be held in Perth tomorrow.
The state's water resource manager the Department of Water will host the seminar which will be attended by the state's leading water professionals and researchers in water resource management.
Research had revealed new insights into the state's rainfall patterns that were assisting government response to a decline in capture of rainfall into dams.
The Department of Water's Director General Kim Taylor said run-off into Perth reservoirs has been reduced by about two-thirds in the past ten years compared with the long-term average.
"Last winter, although we had above average rainfall in some catchments, the resulting run-off was only 50 per cent of the 1976–2007 average inflow," Mr Taylor said.
"There is also concern about the impact that reduced run-off may have on stream ecology in these catchments.
"Streams that had previously flowed all year round, now flow only for six to eight months of the year.
"What is also concerning is that scientists tell us such reductions in run-off may be irreversible in some areas."
Mr Taylor said the state had come a long way in getting a grip on climate change and its effect on available water.
This had been achieved by long term monitoring, targeted investigations and by government, researchers and industry working together to tackle water resource challenges.
Additional water sources such as desalination, and improved re-use technology had helped ease the declining inflows to dams.
"We are also getting greater gains in efficiency and water re-use through education and improved technology," Mr Taylor said.
Sharing knowledge between government agencies, researchers and the community had improved understanding and therefore the ability to manage the state's critical water resources.
Contact: Peter Collins
Phone: (08) 6364 6848 / 0434 603 441