We have plans in place to make Western Australia more climate resilient and provide sustainable water services for our State.
As WA continues to experience the effects of a drying climate, planning for our water services to meet future demand is ever more important.
Our long term plan to provide sustainable water services
In October 2009, we released our 50 year plan, Water Forever: Towards Climate Resilience. This plan was the culmination of a 2-year project dedicated to working with our community to develop a long term plan to deliver water services to Perth, Mandurah and surrounding communities. The principle of becoming more climate resilient is now applied to all our planning for water services across the state.
Water Forever provides a portfolio of options to manage our demand and supply balance by 2060 through:
- reducing water use by 25%
- increasing water recycling to 60%
- identifying, investigating and securing support to develop new water sources.
Working within Water Forever we have also developed plans to ensure we continue to meet the needs of our customers across the state over the next 10 years.
Our 10-year plan for Perth
Our changing climate has become more noticeable in the past 10 years, presenting us with new challenges. Reduced rainfall, and changes in rainfall timing, have greatly reduced run-off into our dams around Perth and dramatically reduced their role in our drinking water supplies. We simply can no longer rely upon our dams.
Our 10 year plan, working within Water Forever, is designed to make WA more climate resilient by:
- transferring our groundwater abstraction to the deeper aquifers to protect the groundwater environment and secure our groundwater supplies
- replenishing our deep aquifers with recycled water through a new groundwater replenishment scheme
- expanding seawater desalination capacity to offset the declining inflow to our dams
- continuing to make gains in water use efficiency, while preserving our outdoor lifestyle and enabling continued growth of our beautiful city and state
- using wastewater recycling as a resource for industry, public open spaces and agriculture.
Our 10-year plan for Western Australia
In response to strong state growth led by the resources industry and the drying climate, which has reduced rainfall in the South West, we are accelerating planning to increase climate resilience and upgrading services to meet the needs of growing communities.
We will continue to deliver sustainable water and wastewater services to our customers:
- In the South West, the Bridgetown Regional Water Supply Scheme is supplemented with groundwater from the Yarragadee aquifer and will be expanded to progressively connect other towns.
- Through planned investment we aim to strengthen the Great Southern Region's climate resilience by working towards interconnecting more schemes and exploring new water sources.
- In the Goldfields Agricultural Region, our focus will be on maintaining the Goldfields and Agricultural Water Supply Scheme and supporting the expected population growth in Esperance.
- With growth expected in the Mid West, we are using a staged approach to expand the borefield supplying the Geraldton Regional Water Supply Scheme and focusing on increasing the town's wastewater capacity.
- For the fast-growing North West, our priority is to deliver more water and wastewater services while working with the community to reduce the region's high water use. We are making major investments in the investigation and development of new water sources and upgrading existing schemes, in some cases, in partnership with resource companies and State Government.
- Across the state, we are also committed to increasing recycling of the wastewater we manage from 13.5% to 30% by 2030.