Western Australia Minister for Water Graham Jacobs
Saving Water In Spring Will Help Secure Water For The Future
Victor P Taffa
Water Minister Graham Jacobs today announced that a one-day-a-week water sprinkler roster for Perth, the South-West and the Lower Great Southern would apply for the rest of spring.
The Department of Water and Water Corporation will double enforcement resources and the Liberal-National Government will investigate an increase to the penalty for multiple infringements.
The Department has also designed a new online tool-kit to provide access to invaluable information on the use of non-drinking water including treated wastewater; stormwater; greywater; rainwater and groundwater; and considerations in selecting a suitable non-drinking water source.
Dr. Jacobs said the tightening of the sprinkler roster from two days a week to one day from October 1 through to November 30, applied only to users of the Integrated Water Supply Scheme (IWSS). Bore owners would continue to be permitted to use their bores for three days a week, and hand watering of gardens and lawns will still be allowed, however, please be sensible with your water use.
The Minister said the State Government’s hand was forced by the second driest winter on record, continuing dry weather through September and the now certainty that run off into the dams would be the lowest since 1913 this was despite predictions by the Bureau of Meteorology of a wetter than normal spring.
“The situation right now is quite extraordinary and required a strong decision which I have made.” Dr. Jacobs said.
“The community showed fantastic support for the winter sprinkler ban and I would think West Australians will show the same enthusiasm for this new water saving measure.”
“When the ban was lifted at the end of August, I emphasised that there was a likelihood of a tightening of the roster if we did not get rain in September and unfortunately that has happened.”
Dr. Jacobs said the Department of Water and the Water Corporation were working closely to ensure security of supplies over a summer that was expected to test the IWSS to its limits. Actions outside of the one-day-a-week sprinkler roster include several contingency measures and other initiatives such as the new online tool-kit that would result in short-term water savings.
The Government is also considering the impact water use in industry is having on our supply.
“I would like to see more use of recycled water for industry purposes and will be continuing to discuss options with a range of businesses and corporations to maximise use of our existing recycling facility at Kwinana.” the Minister said.
“We need to increase water-use efficiency and make the most of opportunities to use alternative water sources. This includes the efficient use of all water sources; minimal use of scheme water for non-drinking purposes and the consideration of non-drinking water schemes where feasible.”
“Non-drinking water schemes provide a fit-for-purpose option for those uses such as toilet flushing and garden watering that do not require highly-treated drinking water.” Dr. Jacobs said.
“Use of the new toolkit ensures an easy way of obtaining information on the current approval requirements for the non-drinking water source and supply options.”
Dr. Jacobs said the Government had a duty to look beyond this coming summer and autumn and the new demand measures and contingency options to be adopted would also help ensure security leading up to the commissioning of the new desalination plant next year.
“The reality is that we have never had a year like this when actual total inflow to the dams has flat-lined and that includes the dams supplying various South-West towns.” the Minister said.
“There was a need to act to encourage a further reduction in demand leading into summer.”
“Our most pressing management issue here is to ensure we have done everything we can to prepare ourselves if the 2011 winter is similar to this year.” Dr. Jacobs said.
The new one-day-a-week sprinkler roster will operate as follows:
|Last digit of property’s street number or, where there is no street number, lot number||Day for watering by sprinkler|
The rostering days will be advertised widely in the coming weeks.