Western Australia Minister for Water Graham Jacobs
New Permanent Winter Sprinkler Bans To Secure Our Water Resources
Victor P Taffa
Western Australia Water Minister Graham Jacobs today announced a permanent winter sprinkler ban from June 1 to August 31.
The decision followed a successful two-month trial ban during July and August last year, with an estimated 2.2 Billion litres of water saved.
This is equivalent to filling 880 Olympic-sized pools or enough to supply Manjimup or Collie with water for a year.
“The result of the ban was an outstanding community achievement because, while there was reasonably consistent rain, we were still well below the long-term average.” Dr. Jacobs said.
“Last year’s trial was definitely a success with an independent survey indicating 93 % community support.”
The Minister appealed to Perth households and businesses to embrace the permanent ban with the same enthusiasm, pointing out the city had just experienced its hottest and driest summer on record.
“We are in a good supply position right now with the dams still at 40 % capacity and the Perth Seawater Desalination Plant operating consistently at full pace so the State has water in the bank.” the Minister said.
“However, it would be a shame to waste any of it unnecessarily.”
Dr. Jacobs said for the financial year to date, water use was still about four Billion litres inside target for the Perth region.
“This is a good result, but we must continue the great work conserving our water reserves.” Dr. Jacobs said.
Following the experience of the 2009 trial, the boundary for future winter sprinkler bans had been limited to the Perth-Mandurah area and the South-West.
“The boundary was determined using evapo-transpiration rates and rainfall data and based on local government boundaries for ease of management and communication.” the Minister said.
“The winter sprinkler ban will not apply to the Goldfields and Kalbarri where temperatures are higher and there is less winter rainfall.”
While the winter sprinkler ban dates are in line with climatic conditions, the Minister is able to alter them annually depending on rainfall and subsequent water availability.
Outside the winter period, the existing water efficiency measures (i.e. the two and three day per week watering rosters and daytime sprinkler bans) will continue to apply.
Dr. Jacobs said that during the trial ban, feedback showed bore users needed to be able to regularly operate bores for short periods for maintenance. This would be permitted under new by-laws.