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WA unveils waterwise Perth plan during National Water Week

National Water Week is well underway, and from site tours to school visits, members of the water sector have been doing their part to promote this year’s theme: It’s time to change the world.

This includes Western Australia (WA) Water Minister Dave Kelly, who this week launched the Waterwise Perth Action Plan.

“As a community here in Perth, we must continue our efforts to save water and adapt to what climate change is doing to our environment,” Kelly said.

“This National Water Week, I’m asking Western Australians to think about the importance of water in their lives and what they can do to use water more wisely.” 

The strategy outlines steps the State Government will take over the next two years to help achieve a series of 2030 waterwise targets, which include:

  • reducing average scheme water supplied to 110 kL/person/year; 
  • reducing groundwater use across the region by 10%;
  • ensuring recycled and alternative water supplies make up 45% of the projected gap between future water demand and supply;
  • ensuring 100% of irrigated open space has adopted waterwise management practices; and
  • ensuring best practice waterwise policies are integrated into all state urban water policies.

The plan is divided into four focus areas: households and buildings; precinct and suburb; city and urban; and government. Each has its own two-year aims.

These range from providing practical water-saving solutions for Perth households to creating more urban green spaces, creating climate-resilient green spaces, and increasing Indigenous engagement and participation.

Kelly said the plan is particularly important given south-west WA is one of the areas in the world most affected by climate change through declining rainfall. 

There has been a 5% drop in long-term average annual rainfall since the mid-1970s, and streamflow into Perth’s drinking water dams has reduced by up to 80%.

“Climate change has dramatically affected Perth’s urban water cycle,” Kelly said.

“To ensure Perth can remain a beautiful, green and liveable city we must act now.

“[The plan] adopts a water sensitive cities approach to urban development that reduces consumption and captures, transports, cleans and stores water in the landscape for multiple social, economic and environmental health benefits.”

The Waterwise Perth Steering Committee will oversee implementation of the plan, led by the Director General of the Department of Water and Environmental Regulation.

Success will be measured based on delivery of the actions; progress towards the 2030 targets; and progress on increasing Perth’s rating on the Water Sensitive Cities Benchmarking Index. 

Read the full plan here.