DWER balances groundwater plan | PS News

by John J. Williams

The Department of Water and Environment Regulation (DWER) has released the final plan to rebalance Perth and Mandurah’s groundwater supplies, which are at risk from climate change and increased use.

According to the ministry, the publication of the final plan follows several years of stakeholder involvement and community consultation, as well as more than six years of scientific assessments and groundwater modeling.

The ministry said the plan includes releasing the new Gnangara groundwater allocation plan and matching garden drilling grids to a sprinkler grid to save 70 gigaliters of water annually.

DWER balances groundwater plan |  PS News

Water Secretary Dave Kelly welcomed the plan and said the impacts of climate change, reduced rainfall, and increased use had significantly affected Perth’s precious groundwater resources.

“We need to reduce our groundwater use to minimize the impact climate change is having on our wetlands, bushland, street trees, recreational parks, and groundwater quality,” said Mr. Kell. y.

“By making small changes to everyone’s way of using groundwater, we can deliver environmental benefits, provide clarity and certainty to the industry and protect this precious resource for future generations,” he said.

“$11.5 million in funding will be made available through a range of programs to help groundwater users, from industry to local government and private good owners, transition to less groundwater.”

Mr. Kelly said implementing the Gnangara Groundwater Allocation Plan and Garden Drilling Roster over the next four years would support the horticultural industry, local government, and garden drill users to adapt.

“Since 1980, the effects of climate change, reduced rainfall, and increased groundwater abstraction have reduced groundwater levels by up to 10 meters – a loss of 1,000 GL of water storage, equivalent to 1,000 Optus stadiums full of water,” the minister said.

“Our precious groundwater systems supply up to 40 percent of Perth’s drinking water, as well as water for industry and horticulture, garden drilling, parks, and other green spaces,” he said.

“They also support highly valued environmental assets such as wetlands, bushland, and street trees in Perth and Mandurah.”

“Under the new plan,” said Mr. Kell. y, “major water users licensed north of the Swan River, including Water Corporation, industry, irrigators, and local governments, will be required to reduce groundwater abstraction as part of the new Gnangara Groundwater Allocation Plan. from July 2028.

“Water Corporation will reduce their abstraction by 27 percent, while the reduction of water rights for most other licensed groundwater users is limited to just 10 percent,” he said.

“Schools and hospitals will be exempt from discounts on the water right.

Details of the new plan can be found at this PS News link.

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