23/07/2007 - 12:56

State restricts bore usage in new water guidelines

23/07/2007 - 12:56

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Bore owners will be restricted to watering their gardens on three days per week and the State will set up different garden watering guidelines for northern Western Australians under new guidelines announced today by Water Resources Minister John Kobelke.

State restricts bore usage in new water guidelines

Bore owners will be restricted to watering their gardens on three days per week and the State will set up different garden watering guidelines for northern Western Australians under new guidelines announced today by Water Resources Minister John Kobelke.

 

 

The full text of a ministerial announcement is pasted below

Water Resources Minister John Kobelke today announced water efficiency measures would be extended across the State.

As part of the measures to deal with climate change and an extremely dry winter, Perth's almost 165,000 bore owners would be restricted to watering their gardens on three days a week. Bore owners outside of the metropolitan region would not be affected.

Mr Kobelke said that from October 1 this year, the State would be divided into two permanent water efficiency zones, divided north and south of a line from Kalbarri to Dalwallinu and east to the Western Australian-South Australian border, just north of Kalgoorlie.

"Communities south of the line will be restricted to two days a week watering of gardens, while those north will only be able to water on alternate days," he said.

"The Government believes that residential communities throughout WA will be able to comply with the new measures and still maintain healthy gardens.

"We are also moving to enforce stringent water efficiency measures on local governments, Government departments and large industry users.

"This is part of an on-going water efficiency program that covers the entire State."

Mr Kobelke said another measure to increase the water efficiency mentality amongst all Western Australians would be a program where all schools could conduct water audits to establish what was required to improve their water efficiency.

In addition, a household self-audit could be made through the Department of Water website to encourage householders to identify ways to further reduce their water use.

"With water as our most precious resource, these additional measures are squarely aimed at stopping water wastage, whether it is drinking water or groundwater being used for community, residential and industrial purposes," Mr Kobelke said.

"It is time to introduce efficiencies State-wide because the increased impacts of ongoing climate change require a stronger commitment across the board from all sectors of the community."

Mr Kobelke said the new measures gave Western Australians an opportunity to demonstrate to the rest of Australia how much they valued their water and the fact that all water was precious regardless of the source.

"The measures have been introduced as a balanced approach to water efficiency into the future and are less onerous than other States," he said.

"The Government is convinced that water consumption in government agencies, local governments, businesses and residential households can be reduced across the State without compromising our WA lifestyle."

The new measures were introduced following consultation with industry groups, including the Nursery and Garden Industry, irrigation businesses, landscape industries, turf producers and the Australian Drilling Industry Association. Also consulted was the WA Local Government Association and input was provided by the Departments of Housing and Works, Main Roads and Education.

Mr Kobelke said the two-day sprinkler roster system, introduced in September 2001, had been widely accepted by the 1.6 million users of the integrated scheme as a sensible water efficiency measure.

The roster system and other demand management measures had saved on average 45 billion litres of water annually over the past six years. Residential consumption per person in the same period had fallen from 123 kilolitres annually to 103 kilolitres.

Mr Kobelke said that in 2005-06, 75 per cent of towns in WA used more water per capita than consumers supplied by the integrated scheme. This clearly indicated that there were opportunities to improve water efficiency across the State by implementing sensible water efficiency regimes.

He acknowledged that the alternate day watering in WA's North West towns could put pressure on some gardens without waterwise practices in place. However, Government and industry groups were confident gardens would flourish if householders adopted appropriate garden techniques for the climate in those areas.

"There will be some issues but water utilities will work with the garden and irrigation industries and householders across WA in the implementation of the program," Mr Kobelke said.

"In Perth, more than 25 per cent of all gardens and lawns are watered using backyard bores. With the drying climate and groundwater levels under pressure, it is sensible that bore use be restricted to three days a week."

Mr Kobelke said a multimedia campaign to launch the new sprinkler rosters and other measures would be led by the Water Corporation and the Department of Water. This would include an intensive awareness and educational campaign leading up to the new measures and ongoing support to all sectors. Further details would be available shortly.

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