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water forever OPTIONS FOR OUR WATER FUTURE APRIL 2008

water forever

OPTIONS FOR OUR WATER FUTURE

APRIL 2008

water forever OPTIONS FOR OUR WATER FUTURE APRIL 2008
water forever OPTIONS FOR OUR WATER FUTURE APRIL 2008

CONTENTS

  • 01 INTRODUCTION

03

  • 02 WATER FUTURES

10

  • 03 CONSERVE

21

  • 04 CONNECT

35

  • 05 CREATE

47

  • 06 TOWARDS IMPLEMENTATION

63

  • 07 INFORMATION SHEETS

68

OPTIONS FOR OUR WATER FUTURE

1

WAYS TO HAVE YOUR SAY ON WATER FOREVER

Water Forever is the Water Corporation’s 50 year plan to deliver water services to Perth and surrounding areas.

There are a number of ways you can have your say on our 50 year plan.

  • 1. Visit www.watercorporation.com.au/waterforever to

register and fi ll out the online feedback form.

VOLUMES OF WATER

  • 2. Write to us at:

Water Forever

Water Corporation Locked Bag 2 Osborne Park Delivery Centre WA 6916. Public submissions close on 30 June 2008.

One litre

1 litre

  • 1 litre

One thousand litres

1,000 litres

  • 1 kilolitre

One million litres

1,000,000 litres

  • 1 megalitre

One thousand million litres

1,000,000,000 litres

  • 1 gigalitre

INTRODUCTION

Enhancing the security and reliability of our water supplies is important to all of us.

Effective management of water helps to provide essential water services to the community while preserving the environment and our cultural and spiritual values. Western Australia is growing rapidly and is expected to continue to do so in the foreseeable future. Planning for our water needs supports the development of healthy communities.

The State Government has given water and the management of water resources strategic priority. This will continue given climate change and variability, resource scarcity and continued increases in demand.

Water Forever is happening at a time of signifi cant investment in water resource management in Western Australia.

This section provides context for this project by outlining other strategic water plans in the study area and the role of the Department of Water as the resource manager. It also outlines the project scope, study area, previous planning work undertaken and the framework for sustainable decisions to support our water future.

STATE WATER PLAN

In May 2007, the Western Australian Government released the State Water Plan 2007. It summarised the State’s existing knowledge of water resources, water demands and use, and the experience of climate change. The plan outlined water policy and planning frameworks to integrate reforms at state and national levels.

The plan also outlined 100 priority actions to implement these changes. One of these is for the Water Corporation to engage with the community on water source options for the Integrated Water Supply Scheme.

Water Forever is this initiative.

The Department of Water is coordinating the implementation of the State Water Plan 2007. They are also responsible for developing two strategic water resource plans occurring in the Perth area. These are the Perth - Peel Regional Water Plan and the Gnangara Sustainability Strategy.

WORKING WITH THE DEPARTMENT OF WATER

The Water Corporation works together with the Department of Water, Department for Planning and Infrastructure and other agencies to plan for water services for our customers. The Department of Water coordinates the water-planning framework outlined in the State Water Plan 2007.

WESTERN AUSTRALIAN WATER PLANNING FRAMEWORK

Effective management of water helps to provide essential water services to the community while preserving the

The Department of Water also develops water resources and water industry policy in Western Australia. National frameworks including the National Water Initiative inform outcomes in these areas. The Department of Water is responsible for:

water resource investigation and assessment;

water accounting;

licensing water use;

wetlands and waterways;

drainage planning;

fl oodplain management;

water industry policy, including pricing policy; and

water legislation.

The Water Corporation is one water user, licensed by the Department of Water. There are roughly 14,200 licensed water users in Western Australia, from sectors including mining, agriculture, Local Government, industry and service organisations. Over 90% of these licenses are for groundwater use, and the remainder for surface water use. The Department of Water also manages unlicensed water use, such as small farm water supplies and garden bores.

Water Forever will primarily focus on the needs of our customers – residents, businesses and organisations connected to our schemes. Where possible, we will consider how we can enhance the environment and provide services to other water users where there is a need.

At the same time, the Department of Water is working on an overarching regional water plan, the Perth - Peel Regional Water Plan. This plan will review water resource planning in the region and provide guidance on strategic water issues, policy options and management priorities in the region. One of the issues under consideration in this plan is allocating water for public water supply.

Other issues that have been identifi ed for the Perth - Peel Regional Water Plan include climate change, water demand and availability, water use effi ciency and recycling, urban corridor development and protecting waterways and wetlands.

As the Perth - Peel Regional Water Plan progresses, Water Forever will be updated by research and investigations conducted on key issues and the emerging priorities. A draft is expected to be released for public comment later this year.

WORKING WITH THE GNANGARA SUSTAINABILITY STRATEGY

The Gnangara Groundwater System is a series of groundwater resources and wetlands that extends from the north banks of the Swan River to Moore River, north of Perth. The Gnangara Groundwater System underpins the water grid and has provided up to 60% of total scheme water supply to Perth, the Goldfi elds and surrounding communities.

Parts of this system are under pressure due to the combined impacts of a drying climate, land use changes and water abstraction. On average, over the past few years, the Water Corporation has drawn about 150 gigalitres a year from the Gnangara Groundwater System for the water grid. This is about 40% of the estimated total water abstracted from the Gnangara Groundwater System by all users (licensed and unlicensed).

In 2007, the State Government initiated the Gnangara Sustainability Strategy to review land and water use in the Gnangara area. This initiative is being led by the Department of Water. Participating agencies include the Department for Planning and Infrastructure, Department of Agriculture and Food, Department of Environment and Conservation and the Water Corporation.

The Water Corporation supports the development of this strategy to provide a sustainable water resource management approach for the Gnangara Groundwater System. Decisions made as a result of the strategy will impact the role that this resource plays in public water supply for the Integrated Water Supply Scheme (IWSS) water grid.

The Gnangara Sustainability Strategy is examining a wide range of options to integrate land and water planning in this area. The strategy is expected to be fi nalised for consideration by Government in mid-2009.

STRATEGIC LAND PLANNING

Over the past 50 years four strategic plans have been developed by Western Australian land planning agencies to guide land development in the Perth region:

Stephenson and Hepburn’s plan in 1955;

The Corridor Plan in 1970;

Metroplan in 1990; and

Network City in 2004.

The fi rst three plans supported development of a rapidly expanding city.

Network City builds on this objective and considers land development impacts due to growth, climate change, loss of biodiversity and the need to conserve energy and water. It is a strategic planning document jointly released by the Western Australian Planning Commission and the Department for Planning and Infrastructure, as a result of extensive research, planning and community engagement.

It provides strategic direction for land planning in the metropolitan area based on a range of sound principles:

bringing people together around activity centres;

connecting people and places with networks;

building a sense of place and belonging in

communities; and protecting the natural environment to sustain the city.

The Network City vision for Perth and Peel is:

“That by 2030, Perth people will have created a world-class sustainable city, vibrant, more compact and accessible, with a unique sense of place.”

There are three principles to guide decision-making:

enhance effi ciency of urban land use and infrastructure;

protect the environment and improve resource effi ciency

and energy use; and enhance community vitality and cohesiveness.

The approach encourages a more compact city by making better use of existing land in developed suburbs. This reduces urban sprawl and can have very positive impacts on water use effi ciency as well as infrastructure effi ciency. Water Forever seeks to align with the principles of Network City.

We are monitoring the extent to which these land planning principles are being achieved. They directly impact the timing, location and extent of further investment in water, wastewater and drainage infrastructure.

OPTIONS FOR OUR WATER FUTURE

5

WATER FOREVER

Water Forever is developing a long-term plan for Perth integrating water, wastewater and drainage services with land planning. We’re thinking 50 years ahead and the plan will outline actions to support water service delivery in three horizons:

10 years to 2020;

20 years 2030; and

50 years to 2060.

Water Forever will create a framework for the delivery of conservation initiatives and infrastructure to support our water future. The plan will need to be comprehensive and fl exible to adapt to our changing environment.

LINKS WITH PREVIOUS STUDIES

The effects of a drying climate and prolonged drought across Australia are creating a realisation that rainfall dependent sources of water may not provide enough water, or enough certainty, to meet the needs of growing cities. There is a need to balance reliable water sources with a responsible level of demand.

Refl ecting different climate scenarios and choosing between a number of options requires an effective and dynamic means of evaluating a portfolio of water use effi ciency and water supply options. This includes comparing the risks and costs to the community with different options.

Over the past fi fteen years, the Water Corporation has completed several strategic infrastructure-planning documents that have formed the basis for ongoing investment in new programs and infrastructure:

Perth’s Water Future: A water supply strategy for Perth

and Mandurah, 1995; Wastewater 2040, Strategy for the Perth Region, 1995;

and the Integrated Water Supply Scheme, Source Development Plan, 2005.

The Source Development Plan adopted an integrated resource planning approach as recommended in the State Water Strategy released in 2003. Integrated resource planning ensures that options to reduce demand on water supplies (such as water use effi ciency initiatives) are compared on an equal basis with options that increase supply (such as new water sources).

This framework has been developed by urban water utilities across Australia to evaluate a range of options.

Water Forever will be examining a range of water source and water use effi ciency initiatives that could help to meet demand over the next 50 years. Information sheets have been developed for a range of water source and water use effi ciency options that address sustainability considerations, cost and potential yield (the amount of water available for use).

The direction provided in the above mentioned planning reports have helped us to keep pace with development. We have been able to meet your water service needs by implementing a range of water use effi ciency and customer service initiatives, coupled with detailed asset planning and development of existing or new water sources.

It is now time to review these plans and move forward once again.

PROJECT SCOPE

The study area covers three quarters of all our customers in Western Australia.

In Western Australia regional areas have very different climates, communities, economic needs, water resources and ecosystems. Where there is a need for a separate water service plan for a particular region, this will be addressed in a study designed to meet the needs of that region and its community. For example, the Water Corporation is currently examining options for the Pilbara.

Water Forever will cover the area currently supplied by the IWSS water grid, which includes the area supplied by the Goldfi elds and Agricultural water pipeline. The wastewater planning area is the current metropolitan area, from Lancelin in the north to Mandurah in the south. The project will consider opportunities for more water recycling in these areas. Drainage catchments in the Perth and Peel areas are also in this scope.

These planning areas will consider nearby communities that could be connected to the IWSS water grid or wastewater schemes in the future.

STUDY AREA OPTIONS FOR OUR WATER FUTURE

STUDY AREA

OPTIONS FOR OUR WATER FUTURE

7

L

A

T

N

E

M

N

O

R

I

V

N

E

TOWARDS A SUSTAINABLE WATER FUTURE

The Water Corporation understands the need to deliver sustainable outcomes when planning for water, wastewater and drainage services. It is our responsibility to provide our customers with a safe and reliable water supply, drainage and wastewater services. We aim to provide water solutions that deliver a ‘quality of life’ for customers and surrounding communities, which is environmentally responsible and affordable for current and future generations.

For many years we have considered issues in light of environmental, social and economic impacts. Our purpose is:

“The sustainable management of water services to make Western Australia a great place to live and invest.”

In defi ning ‘sustainability’, the Water Corporation has adopted the defi nition outlined in the Western Australian State Sustainability Strategy, ‘Hope for the Future (2003)’:

“Sustainability is meeting the needs of the current and future generations through integration of environmental protection, social advancement and economic prosperity.”

The Water Corporation has developed a Sustainability Strategy to build awareness and understanding, encourage sustainability thinking in the organisation and embed sustainability principles into decision-making processes.

Business principles have been designed to guide planning and operations by identifying issues, generating options for development, engaging with stakeholders, evaluating options and making decisions.

Practical outcomes achieved so far include creating the Security through Diversity approach to meet water needs in a drying climate. We have also used these principles to develop a Greenhouse Strategy.

Water Forever is adopting these business principles for sustainability to guide the development of the project, community engagement and decision-making.

PREVENT SUSTAIN ENHANCE
PREVENT
SUSTAIN
ENHANCE

IMPLEMENTATION

When complete, Water Forever will detail actions to implement the plan, including linkages with land planning.

L A I C O S Respect the value of all Enhance the resilience of the
L
A
I
C
O
S
Respect
the value
of all
Enhance the
resilience of the
natural and human
environment
Protect the health
and safety of all
& support the
wellbeing of our
employees &
customers
Enhance
community
capacity
Sustainable
Conserve the
value of the
environment
Management
of Water
Services
Prevent harm
Preserve our
capacity to provide
water services to
meet present and
future needs
to the
SI
G
N
IF
IC
A
N
T
environment
L
Y
Find efficiencies
A
C
H
E
IE
that reduce
V
E
D
Enhance
the economic
value to our
customers,
suppliers & the
community while
delivering
shareholder returns
internal and
external costs
C
O
N
O
M
I
C
PARTIALLY
ACHIEVED

COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENT

In recent times, there has been a high level of public awareness and debate surrounding proposals to develop new water sources. In addition, the community is helping to secure our water future by learning to use water wisely and adapting to a drier climate.

Water Forever will continue to shape our water future, with input from the community. The focus is on listening to the needs of the community and stakeholders, encouraging involvement, sharing information on options for our future and understanding different viewpoints.

Anyone can “Get involved.” You can register your interest at any time during the 5 stages of the project.

We are currently in the “Have your say” stage. We welcome your input to issues raised in this Options Paper. There are lots of different ways you can become involved.

With your help, we can ensure water for all, forever.

THE WATER FOREVER ENGAGEMENT PROCESS

Do you want to be involved in making decisions about water and wastewater services for Perth?

Get Involved

Throughout the project

What are the major issues that need to be addressed in relation to water and wastewater services for Perth?

Have your say

March - June 2008

Here is a summary of your input into planning to date.

What you said

July - August 2008

Here is a draft plan, that indicates where we’re heading. Do you agree with the direction we’re proposing to take?

What we plan to do

Late 2008 - March 2009

Here is our fi nal plan and how we will implement the strategy, developed with your input.

How we will do it

Mid 2009

OPTIONS FOR OUR WATER FUTURE

9

WATER FUTURES

Creating a water future for the study area for the next 50 years requires us to develop a shared understanding of the planning context, water availability and projections for population growth and water demand. This work is underpinned by robust science and consideration of the potential impacts of a diverse range of trends and possible future scenarios.

This section provides information on trends and planning assumptions that provide a framework for Water Forever.

WATER FOR LIFE

In December 2003 the United Nations (UN) proclaimed the years 2005 to 2015 as the ‘International Decade for Action:

Water for Life.’

The UN noted that:

“Water is crucial for sustainable development including the preservation of our natural environment and the alleviation of poverty and hunger. Water is indispensable for human health and well-being.”

Water is an essential part of the environment and water services are essential for economic development. Water services are needed by all businesses and other organisations, like schools and hospitals. Recreational spaces such as ovals and parks also need water and provide important urban amenity.

Importantly, water has cultural heritage and spiritual value to both Indigenous and non-Indigenous Western Australians.

Although the drought in some parts of the country means that water restrictions have been imposed on water use for gardens and other non-essential water using activities, most people living in Australian cities have access to reliable and high quality drinking water for their daily needs.

Similarly, cities in Australia are well serviced by sewerage systems that remove and treat wastewater from homes and businesses. Wastewater treatment makes a signifi cant contribution to public health.

Flood management and drainage standards have helped to manage fl ooding, curtailed the spread of disease and enabled urban development.

The Water Corporation recognises the importance of reliable and safe water, wastewater and drainage services to meet the needs of customers and to protect public health. The Water Corporation and other government policies and guidelines refl ect the importance we place on water quality. These policies and guidelines are consistent with the Australian Drinking Water Guidelines.

The Water Corporation has an operating licence, issued by the Economic Regulation Authority that requires certain standards to be met when delivering drinking water, wastewater and drainage services. The Water Corporation has a Customer Charter, which forms a part of this licence.

Water Forever will continue to ensure that water is available to meet the essential water needs of the community, and in doing so, protect public health.

CLIMATE CHANGE AND VARIABILITY

Climate change and global warming are terms used to describe the climatic changes that result from the enhanced greenhouse effect. This effect is the excessive trapping of heat in the Earth’s atmosphere caused by increased greenhouse gas emissions associated with burning fossil fuels, agriculture and land clearing.

The impact of climate change will vary in different regions but may include:

higher average air temperatures;

changed rainfall patterns; and

rising sea levels.

Climate variability recognises that many of these trends will fl uctuate from year to year, for example there may be some wet years and some very dry years. Learning to adapt to these extremes is part of the challenge facing the Water Corporation and the Western Australian community.

Global research

The International Panel on Climate Change has produced numerous reports detailing the latest scientifi c, technical and socio-economic research conducted to better understand the risk of human-induced climate change, its observed and projected impacts and options for adaptation and mitigation.

The latest report concludes that it is very likely that over the past 50 years cold days, cold nights and frosts have become less frequent over most land areas. Hot days and hot nights have become more frequent. The report also found that it is likely that in most land areas heat waves and heavy rainfall periods have become more frequent.

With reference to water resources, the report concludes that there is high confi dence that by the mid-21st century annual river runoff and water availability will decrease in some dry regions, including many regions in Australia.

OPTIONS FOR OUR WATER FUTURE

11

In 2007, the government of the United Kingdom commissioned a report on the economics of climate change. The report outlined a range of economic impacts that may result from climate change including:

extreme weather could reduce global gross domestic

product (GDP) by up to 1%; a two to three degrees Celsius rise in temperatures could

reduce global economic output by 3%; if temperatures rise by fi ve degrees Celsius, up to 10%

of global output could be lost (the poorest countries would lose more than 10% of their output); and in the worst case scenario, global consumption (per head) would fall by 20%.

Australian research and response

Rainfall decline around Australia has occurred in areas of high population and higher economic activity (including Perth and the study area), which poses signifi cant challenges to meet growing demand for water in a timely fashion.

The CSIRO and the Bureau of Meteorology recently released a report, Climate Change in Australia, which provides essential tools for government, industry and the community to understand the likely magnitude of climate change in Australia and the possible impacts.

This report concludes that the 15% decrease in rainfall in South Western Australia over the past 30 years is likely to be at least partly due to human induced increases in greenhouse gases. The future projection for Perth is for further decline in winter and spring rainfalls that are vital for streamfl ows to public water supply dams as well as our natural environment.

South West of Western Australia

Reduced rainfall in the South West of Western Australia has resulted in fl ows to public water supply dams decreasing by 70% since the mid - 1970s.

YEARLY INFLOW TO PERTH DAMS INCLUDING SOUTHERN SOURCES

2010 2007 2004 2001 1998 1995 1992 1989 1000 1986 1983 900 1980 1977 800 1974
2010
2007
2004
2001
1998
1995
1992
1989
1000
1986
1983
900
1980
1977
800
1974
1971
700
1968
1965
600
1962
1959
500
1956
1953
400
1950
38% Less
1947
300
1944
1941
70% Less
200
1938
1935
100
1932
1929
0
1926
1923
1920
Annual Total
* a year is taken as May to April
1911–1979 average (378 GL)
** 2004/05 inflow to 31 Jan 2005
1980–1999 average (232 GL)
2001–2007 average (105 GL)
1917
1914
1911
Total Annual* Inflow (GL) to Perth Dams**

The most severe projections by CSIRO are for average annual rainfalls to decline in the South West by 20% by 2030 and 60% by 2070, from the standard period used to forecast streamfl ows. This is based on a high emissions scenario. However, it is worth noting that CSIRO climate change modelling suggests that some rainfall activity will be more intense and this may increase fl ood risk.

Research conducted by the Indian Ocean Climate Initiative (IOCI) has found that in the South West:

average temperatures have increased by 0.8 degrees

Celsius since 1910 with most change occurring over the past 50 years; average Indian Ocean surface temperatures have

increased by 0.6 degrees Celsius; over the past 35 years, the number of storms have

decreased, bringing less rain; and over this same period, annual rainfalls have decreased by up to 10% and winter rainfalls have decreased by up to 15%.

The Department of Water is currently using the IOCI data to determine sub-regional climate scenarios for the Perth-Peel Regional Water Plan.

Security through Diversity

Until the 1970s, Perth relied mainly on surface water sources - dams built in the hills. Over the past 30 years, signifi cant groundwater resources have been developed. Groundwater represents up to 60% of all water currently sourced for the IWSS water grid.

Reduced infl ows into our dams have resulted in lower surface water availability. Climate change has also decreased recharge to groundwater in some areas.

In 2004, the Water Corporation developed the Security through Diversity strategy to diversify from these traditional water sources. Most recent innovations include more rainfall independent sources such as desalination, water recycling and water use effi ciency. Innovations have been made in catchment management and water trading.

Water Forever will look at how these and other sources can continue to play a role in our water future.

The most severe projections by CSIRO are for average annual rainfalls to decline in the South

WATER

Water availability

The State Water Plan 2007 noted that there is about 1,937 gigalitres of water available in the Perth groundwater basin and 1,610 gigalitres of surface water in the South West. Of this only about 30% is still available for development - the balance is either reserved for the environment or already allocated for use. Many of these resources are a long way from Perth and many are also relatively small and not suitable for development for public water supply.

The Department of Water is updating these regional assessments of surface and groundwater availability as part of the Perth-Peel Regional Water Plan. This will involve estimates of available average annual surface water and groundwater resources forecast to 2030. As part of this work they are considering the impact of reduced rainfall projections.

In addition, the Department of Water is currently fi nalising a study that provides more information about the potential volume of drainage water that may be available for recycling across the Swan Coastal Plain. Other work being undertaken includes the preparation of maps that will provide more information about the availability of water for garden bores.

The Water Corporation will incorporate the fi ndings of these studies, as they become available.

Water Forever will be developed in the context of understanding the availability of all water resources, including the need to retain water in the environment and share water resources with other sectors.

OPTIONS FOR OUR WATER FUTURE

13

Nature of water use

Agriculture is the largest water-using sector on a global scale, consuming almost two - thirds of water drawn from rivers, lakes and groundwater. Whilst this is the case, irrigation has improved the productivity of agriculture.

Since 1960, world water use for crop irrigation has risen by over 60% and current use is predicted to double by 2050 as agriculture becomes an energy supplier for biofuels and feed stocks.

These global trends were consistent with the ‘Australian Water Resources Assessment (2005)’ that indicated that agriculture uses 65% of all water in Australia. The next two largest water-using sectors were households (11.2%) and public water supply (11.1%). Water for public water supply includes water used for fi refi ghting, wastewater treatment plant operations and water lost through leakage.

In metropolitan areas however, there is less water supplied to agriculture and mining and more water used by industry, households and in the service sector (hospitals, schools, government agencies).

The Department of Water forecasts 645 gigalitres of total water use by all sectors in 2008. The Water Corporation will access about 40% of this for public water supply.

The IWSS water grid supplies water to people in Perth (85%), Goldfi elds and Agricultural region (10%) and Mandurah and towns in the South West (5%). Most water is used by households.

Water used outdoors and in laundries and toilets does not have to be of drinking water quality. Water Forever will explore the best fi t for purpose options (where water is treated to a standard suitable for its end use) and ways to achieve greater water savings.

Business and industry use approximately 21% of all public water supply. About 5% of metropolitan businesses use 70% of all business water demand.

The Water Corporation targets high water using businesses (those that use more than 20,000 kilolitres a year) through its Waterwise Business Program. These businesses generally include heavy industry, brewers, laundries, offi ce buildings, major hotels, food manufacturers, universities, shopping centres and hospitals. To date 209 businesses have participated in the program.

Water Forever will identify further opportunities to increase water recycling and water use effi ciency in business and industry.

2008 FORECAST PUBLIC WATER SUPPLY USE IN THE STUDY AREA (GIGALITRES)

Residential (kitchen) - 18

Residential (toilets) - 24

Residential (laundry) - 28

   

Residential (bathroom) - 36

Firefighting, leakage, wastewater treatment - 25

Business - 60

Residential (outdoors) - 94

Sourcing water for use

The amount of water available for the IWSS water grid is known as the water yield. The yield of existing water supplies is somewhat uncertain due to:

reduced infl ows to dams;

the potential requirement to increase fl ows from surface

and groundwater resources to the environment; and increasing and competing land uses within water supply catchments rendering them unsuitable for use or requiring higher levels of treatment.

Streamfl ows over the last 30 years averaged 163 gigalitres a year. In this period, there were some wet years early on. Over the past six years, when rainfall was the lowest on record, streamfl ows into our dams were only half this amount.

Groundwater availability is also being reduced because of declining rainfall.

The existing IWSS water yield is estimated to average 315 gigalitres a year to 2020, based on the low rainfall period from April 2001 to May 2007.

This fi gure includes water from both the Perth and Southern Seawater Desalination Plants and also includes the water available from trading with the Harvey Water irrigation cooperative. This water yield is based upon a probability of a total outside sprinkler ban occurring once in fi fty years.

Based on work undertaken by CSIRO and IOCI, climate change is expected to result in reduced rainfall in the Perth- Mandurah area. This will adversely impact yields from both surface water and groundwater sources.

In particular, surface water yields (including water from trading with irrigation) will be most severely impacted. By 2060, the most extreme projection is for a 60% decrease in rainfall, which would virtually eliminate water from dams as a reliable water source in most years, due to evaporation.

CSIRO projected (under a median emissions scenario), that by 2030 rainfall could decrease by 20% from 1980 to 1999 averages. Given that we have already experienced a 12% reduction in rainfall since this time, a further 8% loss in rainfall is estimated to reduce streamfl ows by a further 20 gigalitres by 2030. This may also further reduce water availability from groundwater resources.

This scenario projects a further 20% reduction in rainfall by 2060, resulting in greater loss of surface and groundwater supply.

Climate science is evolving and these projections are based on probabilities. However, it is important to understand the potential impact of reductions in rainfall on public water supply during this period of rapid change.

Decisions to accelerate water conservation initiatives or invest in new supply capacity will be made incrementally. There is an opportunity for us to progressively adapt as our knowledge of climate and experience of rainfall unfolds.

Planning supports sustainable decisions by making the impact of different scenarios transparent. Engaging with the community allows us to evaluate a range of responses to these possible futures.

The Department of Water determines the amount of water required to sustain the ecological, social and economic values of water resources. Retaining water for these reasons is important, but can reduce the amount of water available for other uses, such as public water supply.

Environmental water provisions are currently being reviewed for a number of surface and groundwater sources in the metropolitan area. No allowance has been made in the above fi gures for reduced surface water availability as a result of regulatory requirements for increased environmental water provision.

POSSIBLE WATER YIELDS FOR THE IWSS WATER GRID TO 2060

Possible IWSS water yield,

Desalination

Surface water

Groundwater

IWSS system yield

without further investment

sources

sources

sources

 

Gigalitres a year

 

Actual water yield 2007

 
  • 18 101

157

276

Possible water yield by

 
  • 95 100

120

315

2020

Possible water yield by

 
  • 95 80

110

285

2030

Possible water yield by

 
  • 95 20

100

215

2060

OPTIONS FOR OUR WATER FUTURE

15

Population forecasts

In 1950, the population of Perth was around 400,000 and has grown at an average of 22,500 people each year since then.

By 2007, approximately 1.6 million people (76% of Western Australia’s population of 2.1 million people) were living in the Perth-Mandurah area. The population is currently growing by approximately 27,000 people each year.

The Western Australian Planning Commission forecasts population growth for the state. The most recent population forecasts were updated in November 2005 with the release of ‘Western Australia Tomorrow - Population Projections for Planning Regions 2004 – 2031 and Local Government Areas 2004 - 2021.’ This report included population projections through to 2031.

In summary, these forecasts suggest that the annual increase in population has peaked at about 27,000 a year and will now slow to 23,000 new people each year between 2021 and 2031. The Water Corporation is basing water demand projections on these forecasts through to 2030.

Water Forever has assumed population growth of 20,000 a year from 2031 – 2060, in keeping with forecast trends for a decline in the rate of growth after this time.

Water Forever is planning for a forecast population of 2.8 million people by 2060. If this growth is achieved sooner than expected, water infrastructure delivery, which includes the development of new water sources and the expansion of wastewater treatment systems, can be brought forward. Similarly, delivery can be pushed back if there is a signifi cant reduction in growth rates.

Water demand forecasts

A number of external factors infl uence water demand including:

population size and growth;

average household size;

rainfall patterns;

incidence of very hot days;

business activity; and

the availability of alternative water sources such as garden bores and rainwater tanks.

Water Forever is basing water demand on the major factor of population growth.

Residential demand is calculated by assuming that customers manage to reduce Perth household water use to 100 kilolitres of water a year, a target set in the State Water Plan 2007. This is a decrease in current household water use, which has averaged 107 kilolitres a year over the past 6 years. Of this water, about half is used outside the home.

Other demands include water supplied by the IWSS water grid for use by business, industry, services such as hospitals and schools, fi re fi ghting and water losses through leakage.

This demand has averaged 47 kilolitres a year over the past 6 years. Combined with household water use, water consumption per person averages 153 kilolitres a year.

These demand assumptions refl ect recent use and highlight the signifi cant gains made in water use effi ciency over the past 10 years. This represents a reduction in overall water demand of approximately 17% since the peak demand of 185 kilolitres a year in 2000/01.

FORECAST POPULATION GROWTH IN THE PERTH-MANDURAH REGION 2007-2060

Forecast population growth

2007

2020

2030

2060

Population

1,600,000

1,950,000

2,200,000

2,800,000

Average annual growth (number of people)

27,000

26,000

23,000

20,000

Average annual growth (%)

1.8%

1.4%

1.1%

0.7%

These forecasts demonstrate a commitment to meet the target to reduce residential water use to 100 kilolitres a person for people in Perth, as outlined in the State Water Plan 2007. This saving will require continued and additional investment in water use effi ciency initiatives.

They do not include additional water supply to meet Perth and Mandurah industrial demand, which is predominantly met through self-supply groundwater, water recycling and trading.

Note that these demand forecasts could be signifi cantly impacted by the factors outlined above. Further analysis will be conducted to investigate the sensitivity of these projections to impacts of household size, hot days, urban density and other considerations.

AVERAGE WATER DEMAND FOR RESIDENTIAL AND OTHER USES

Perth water demand

Average use

Average use

Average use

(kilolitres per person a year)

(1995 - 2001)

(2002 - 2007)

(forecast)

Residential (Household)

120

107

100

Other

56

46

45

Total water demand

176

153

145

FORECAST WATER DEMAND 2007 - 2060

Forecast

2007

2020

2030

2060

water demand

 

Gigalitres a year

 

Perth - Mandurah population forecast

1,600,000

1,950,000

2,200,000

2,800,000

Perth demand

235

265

294

370

Mandurah demand

 
  • 13 23

30

48

Goldfi elds and Agricultural demand

  • 28 32

 

36

52

Total estimated water demand

276

320

360

470

OPTIONS FOR OUR WATER FUTURE

17

2060

2050

2040
2030

2020
2010
2000
1990
1980

FORECAST WASTEWATER FLOWS (MEGALITRES PER DAY)

800 700 600 500 400 300 200 100 0
800
700
600
500
400
300
200
100
0
Historical Flows WASTEWATER
Historical Flows
WASTEWATER

Projected Flows

Wastewater fl ows from Perth and Mandurah

In 2007 the Water Corporation treated 120 gigalitres (328 megalitres a day) of wastewater in metropolitan wastewater treatment plants. This means that about 44% of all water supplied to customers from the IWSS water grid is fed back into the Water Corporation’s wastewater systems. Hence, the amount of wastewater that enters the system is dependent on the amount of water consumed by households, business and industry.

Wastewater comes from:

homes (65%); and

business and service industries (35%).

Businesses are a mix of commercial premises such as shops and offi ces, as well as industrial premises. Commercial premises produce smaller amounts of wastewater, similar in nature to residential wastewater. Industrial wastewater is closely monitored by the Water Corporation to ensure toxic compounds do not enter the wastewater system.

Future wastewater fl ows

Based on the forecasts for population growth and water demand, annual wastewater fl ows for Perth and Mandurah are forecast to be:

by 2020,155 gigalitres (426 megalitres a day);

by 2030, 179 gigalitres (490 megalitres a day); and

by 2060, 237 gigalitres (650 megalitres a day).

These projections refl ect an increase in the proportion of residential and commercial areas sewered due to new land development almost exclusively occuring in sewered areas.

These forecasts are dependent on a number of factors including:

in home and commercial water demand;

number of properties connected to the Water

Corporation’s wastewater system; the reduction in fl ows due to in home and business

water use effi ciency; and the location and density of population increases.

Western Australian Planning Commission forecasts provide the basis for the population projections used. In addition, they provide information on the expected distribution and density of people in the greater Perth and Mandurah areas.

These population forecasts have infl uenced Water Corporation decisions to increase capacity at existing wastewater treatment plants and invest in new treatment plants.

Need to increase wastewater system capacity

The total amount of wastewater than can be treated by the current system is 123 gigalitres a year. Currently, total wastewater fl ows in the Perth - Mandurah region are 120 gigalitres a year. This means that the existing wastewater treatment system is nearing capacity.

By 2060, fl ows are estimated to be in the order of 237 gigalitres a year. This is nearly double the current fl ows.

The existing wastewater treatment system will need to be substantially upgraded and new systems built to cater for the increased fl ows. Options for future expansions are discussed in the Create section.

FUTURE RECYCLING OPPORTUNITIES FROM MAJOR WASTEWATER TREATMENTS PLANTS IN THE PERTH-MANDURAH REGION

Wastewater

Recycling in

Possible

Possible

Possible

Nature of recycling

Treatment Plants

2008

recycling by

recycling by

recycling by

2020

2030

2060

 

Gigalitres a year

 

Alkimos

0

4

6

13

Horticulture (seasonal) Industry

Beenyup

0.8

25

40

50

Groundwater

replenishment

Subiaco

0.7

2

3

20

Public open space Groundwater replenishment - 2030

Woodman Point

4.3

10

20

60

Industry Groundwater replenishment - 2030

East Rockingham

1.2

  • 2 2

 

10

Industry Groundwater replenishment - 2030

Mandurah

0.3

 
  • 1 2

5

Industry

(combined)

Public open space

Forecast recycling

7.3

44

73

158

 

Total fl ows

120

155

179

237

 

Recycling %

6%

28%

41%

67%

 

OPTIONS FOR OUR WATER FUTURE

19

Wastewater recycling forecasts

Currently, the Water Corporation is recycling about 12.5% of all treated wastewater statewide. In Perth, about 6.1% is recycled.

Through continued investment in water recycling, we have the capacity to double this amount by 2012, demonstrating substantial progress towards the 20% target set in the State Water Strategy in 2003. The State Water Plan 2007 established a long-term target to recycle more than 30% of all treated wastewater.

It is possible that the volumes of wastewater recycled could increase even further, particularly if a large scale scheme such as groundwater replenishment is adopted as a water source option.

DRAINAGE

Increasingly, drainage water is being used locally in urban developments by applying the principles of water sensitive urban design. The Department of Water is responsible for planning for the major drainage systems in Western Australia and the preparation of Drainage and Water Management Plans (DWMP).

The State Water Plan 2007 identifi ed a number of districts that require a DWMP due to proposed land development. The Water Corporation has drainage infrastructure in a number of these catchments.

It is not anticipated that the Water Corporation’s drainage network will expand. New drainage works are expected to be the responsibility of Local Government; in keeping with the approach for drainage water to be retained for local use or environmental fl ows where possible.

To fi nd out more about the areas covered by DWMPs and how drainage works, refer to the Connect section.

CONSERVE

CONSERVE Supplying water to meet the needs of communities is inextricably linked to the water cycle.

Supplying water to meet the needs of communities is inextricably linked to the water cycle. The Water Corporation works to conserve the natural environment and minimise the impact of infrastructure delivery required to provide essential services.

We recognise the cultural values associated with water, in particular the importance of water to Indigenous communities. However there are challenges. The South West of the state, a global biodiversity hot-spot, will be impacted by climate change.

Above all, we know that the drying climate means it is imperative for us to use all water wisely. We need to use less, recycle more and use water that is fi t for purpose.

This section provides more information on our programs to conserve water, the environment, energy, biodiversity and cultural heritage.

WATER USE EFFICIENCY

The Water Corporation works closely with customers to reduce demand for drinking water supplied from the IWSS water grid. When we reduce demand for this water, we reduce the amount of wastewater produced by households and businesses requiring treatment, recycling and discharge. We also reduce the amount of energy used to supply and treat water and wastewater, thereby reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

Our approach to water use effi ciency targets a number of areas, including:

improving the effi ciency of water supply infrastructure by

reducing water pressure and leaks; supporting the introduction of legislative changes to

building codes and water use effi ciency labelling on water-using products; replacing the use of drinking water for non-drinking

purposes (such as garden watering) with alternative sources of water; encouraging research and development into water

effi cient technologies; supporting the Waterwise Rebate Program to replace

ineffi cient water using appliances with more effi cient products; administering the introduction of permanent Water

Effi ciency Measures; development of Waterwise Programs which include

training and accreditation in water use effi ciency best practice for garden centres, irrigators, plumbers and developers; and community education including the use of advertising and behavioural change initiatives such as social marketing and comparative billing.

Over the past 20 years the Water Corporation has actively pursued the development and implementation of Waterwise Programs to reduce water demand in households and businesses. These programs are recognised nationally and are now being adopted by a number of other states in Australia.

We are committed to continuing to expand, enhance and maintain community partnerships to educate and provide tools to improve water knowledge and water use effi ciency through Waterwise Programs.

Increasing water use effi ciency is important to ensure water for all, forever.

PERMANENT WATER EFFICIENCY MEASURES

Water restrictions have been used to manage demand from the IWSS water grid in times of severe shortage caused by drought or, more recently, our drying climate. They target non-essential uses of water (such as water for gardens) to conserve drinking water supplies for essential uses.

In other States, the most recent drought has resulted in the imposition of water restrictions of varying levels, ranging from sprinkler bans to no watering of lawns and very limited water use on gardens.

The Water Corporation sees such extreme water restrictions as undesirable. Severe water restrictions, such as banning outdoor sprinkler use, adversely impact the community both in terms of dependent industries (horticulture, recreation) and homeowners through the loss of gardens and green space.

Since 2001 we have introduced measures that save water and maintain gardens by working closely with the community and associated industries. One example is the two day a week sprinkler roster in Perth which saves approximately 45 gigalitres of water a year. This is enough to supply 188,000 households and helps to avoid over 30,000 tonnes of CO2-equivalent greenhouse gas emissions.

In October 2007, this sprinkler roster system, together with other Water Effi ciency Measures, became permanent for the Southern part of Western Australia. Our customers overwhelmingly support the introduction of this sprinkler rostering system as a permanent part of how we use water sensibly in Western Australia.

Other water saving measures suited to hotter average temperatures in the Northern half of the State have also been introduced.

Permanent water effi ciency measures make a substantial contribution to conserving water and our natural environment.

WATER IN THE NATURAL ENVIRONMENT

The Water Corporation’s services are a major part of the water cycle, which is intrinsically linked to environmental health. In taking water from the environment and returning drainage and treated wastewater we aim to sustain the environment, now and in the future. We protect ecological processes in a number of ways, including:

monitoring the environments we take water from to

ensure water dependent ecosystems are not signifi cantly affected; reducing the amount we take from the environment

through water effi ciency initiatives; recycling water and wastewater;

minimising our infrastructure footprint;

reducing discharges where appropriate;

providing water for the environment; and

reducing energy use.

The environment is a key issue we consider when planning for new water sources and wastewater and drainage services. Of particular importance are the environmentally sensitive areas protected under the Environmental Protection (Environmentally Sensitive Areas) Notice 2005. They include important wetlands and ecological communities, natural and world heritage sites, rare fl ora and fauna, and Bush Forever sites.

As part of the Perth-Peel Regional Water Plan, the Department of Water is reviewing environmental water requirements across the region and will develop a program to identify priority requirements where they have not yet been completed. The Perth-Peel Regional Water Plan will consider environmental water provisions for water dependent ecosystems. These provisions take into account the amount of water required to sustain ecological, social, economic and other values associated with water resources.

Water Forever will refl ect the need to retain water in the environment for these reasons.

ENVIRONMENTAL IMPROVEMENT AND MANAGEMENT

We are strengthening our ability to manage impacts through the development of an Environmental Management System, which will have national accreditation. The Environmental Management System supports commitments made in our Environmental Policy which include:

to sustain Western Australia’s water resources;

to comply with environmental regulations;

to prevent pollution; and

to continually improve the way we do things, including conserving natural resources and ecological processes.

The System provides a robust framework for identifying and managing environmental risks associated with water source development, wastewater discharges and recycling, construction and operations. This includes developing, implementing, monitoring and reviewing environmental objectives and actions.

WATER IN THE BUILT ENVIRONMENT

Water in our homes

Most of the water used in residential and commercial buildings in the study area is of drinking water quality supplied through the IWSS water grid. This water is moved from various sources (including dams, groundwater, and desalination) to homes and businesses. There is an opportunity to make greater use of the rain that falls on these buildings to supply water for non-drinking uses.

Most homes in Perth direct the water that drains off their roof into soak wells to replenish groundwater. About 150,000 homes access this source through garden bores to water their gardens. The sustainable use of garden bores is a good fi t for purpose use of water collected at source. The permanent Water Effi ciency Measures will help to ensure that these groundwater resources are used responsibly and not unnecessarily depleted.

Some homeowners have installed rainwater tanks to collect water from the roof for various uses including garden watering, car washing, toilet fl ushing and clothes washing. Other homeowners are using greywater from bathrooms and laundries for garden irrigation.

OPTIONS FOR OUR WATER FUTURE

23

The State Government supports the use of alternative water supplies, such as rainwater tanks and greywater systems through the introduction of changes to building codes known as Five Star Plus. In the second stage of this program, proposed for introduction later in 2008, new residential and commercial buildings will require separate plumbing to be installed that will allow for ease of connection to an alternative water supply for non-drinking water uses like toilet fl ushing.

Water in our businesses

Waterwise Businesses are also making changes towards better water use effi ciency.

The fi rst fi ve Green Star Green Building Council of Australia offi ce in Western Australia is being built at 140 William Street, Perth. The sustainable design features in the building focus on energy, water use effi ciency and waste management. The building is expected to be completed by the end of 2009.

By the end of October 2007, 37 commercial buildings across Australia had been Green Star certifi ed with a further 380 registered for certifi cation. One of these buildings is the Council House 2 in Melbourne, which has been awarded six Green Stars and won a United Nations Award, demonstrating outstanding leadership in sustainable building design.

There is further scope for new commercial building design in Perth to adopt the principles of the Green Star rating system.

Water for public open space

Many of our parks and ovals are watered using groundwater (from bores), which has been recharged through rainfall. This is also a good example of water being collected and used at is origin, meaning fewer resources are consumed to treat and supply the water.

Some new land developments feature artifi cial lakes or wetlands in public open space areas, which collect stormwater and fi lter it before it recharges groundwater.

This is a principle of water sensitive urban design, to integrate urban planning with the management, protection and conservation of the urban water cycle.

There are a number of requirements under the National Water Initiative with respect to water sensitive urban design, water sensitive urban developments and integrated urban water management. State and Local Government initiatives are progressing work in this area, with the assistance of the Water Corporation.

The State Government encourages alternative water supplies for public open space in new developments. There are opportunities to use shallow groundwater for non- drinking water uses, inject recycled water into groundwater to increase water levels, and increase the use of rainwater tanks, garden bores, sewer mining and greywater recycling.

The fi rst trial of an alternative water supply scheme commenced at Brighton in Perth’s Northern suburbs. A community bore scheme supplies groundwater to households for gardens and public open space. This scheme is estimated to save 71 kilolitres of water a year per household from the IWSS water grid.

Another similar non-drinking water scheme under development is the Wungong Urban Water Project, which has Commonwealth funding and is projected to save about 2 gigalitres of scheme water a year.

ENERGY EFFICIENCY

Energy use

Energy use in water and wastewater management is linked to climate change at a global scale. A number of National and Western Australian initiatives are being undertaken to help to manage energy across the community, as part of global efforts to reduce the forecasts for global warming:

the National Framework for Energy Effi ciency has been

developed with the aim of achieving a major enhancement of energy effi ciency performance, reducing energy demand and lowering greenhouse gas emissions; the Commonwealth ‘Energy Effi ciency Opportunities

Act 2006’ has been enacted to mandate the assessment, monitoring and reporting on energy use and energy effi ciency actions; and a mandatory Energy Effi ciency Program has been developed in Western Australia to work with industry to develop a mandatory energy effi ciency scheme applicable to large and medium sized power consumers. The Water Corporation is working collaboratively on this initiative.

In 2006/07 the Water Corporation used 1.6 million gigajoules of energy in the following areas:

90% from electricity;

8% for transport; and

2% for heating using natural gas and biogas.

LOCATIONS OF ENVIRONMENTALLY SENSITIVE AREAS AS DEFINED UNDER THE ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION ACT 1986 OPTIONS FOR OUR

LOCATIONS OF ENVIRONMENTALLY SENSITIVE AREAS AS DEFINED UNDER THE ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION ACT 1986

OPTIONS FOR OUR WATER FUTURE

25

The Water Corporation’s energy consumption is directly related to three major factors:

number of customers;

level of water or wastewater treatment required - the

higher the quality of water and wastewater required, the more energy used to treat it; and the distance over which water and wastewater is transported.

Almost 70% of all energy use is attributed to water services with a further 20% due to wastewater services. Support activities such as energy use in buildings and transport account for the balance.

New rainfall independent sources tend to use more energy as they often require higher levels of treatment. The energy needed to treat 1 kilolitre of drinking water varies by source:

0.4 to 0.6kWh for water treatment of surface and

groundwater sources; 0.8 to 1.0kWh for recycled water; and

3 to 5kWh for reverse osmosis desalination of seawater.

Relationship to household energy use

In Perth, the average household used 276 kilolitres of water in 2006/07. This required 370kWh of electricity for treatment and about the same amount to transport the water. The same home used an average of 6,500kWh of electricity in the same year.

Therefore, the energy associated with water use in a home represents approximately 6% of the total household energy use (not including transport). When you include the energy associated with transporting water and wastewater around the system, the total increases to 12%.

The greater uptake of on site water supply and wastewater recycling systems such as rainwater tanks and greywater systems may reduce the average energy use associated with water consumption in households. This issue requires further research and needs to take into account energy consumed to manufacture on site water storage systems (such as rainwater tanks) and the transportation of these to homes.

Reducing energy use

The Water Corporation has registered to take part in the Federal Government Energy Effi ciency Opportunities Program. This program aims to improve the identifi cation and evaluation of energy effi ciency opportunities for large energy consuming businesses.

Participating businesses identify, evaluate and report publicly on cost effective energy savings opportunities. As part of the program the Water Corporation is undertaking energy assessments of approximately 60 sites by June 2011.

Greenhouse strategy

In 2006/07 the Water Corporation accounted for more than 419,000 tonnes of CO2 equivalent emissions.

AMOUNT OF ENERGY USED IN A YEAR TO DELIVER WATER AND WASTEWATER SERVICES

Assets

Gigajoules a year

Percentage

Water sources

455,390

28.3%

Water treatment

180,821

11.3%

Water conveyance

478,539

29.8%

Wastewater conveyance

92,766

5.8%

Wastewater treatment

236,690

14.7%

Buildings and depots

33,143

2.1%

Transport

129,434

8.0%

TOTAL

1,606,783

100%

Since 2001, the Water Corporation has implemented a number of greenhouse gas initiatives:

supporting renewable energy generators. The

Perth Seawater Desalination Plant uses state-of-the-art energy effi ciency technology and purchases power from the Emu Downs Wind Farm near Cervantes; reducing the demand for water through water use

effi ciency initiatives; planting trees to sequester carbon;

improving vehicle fl eet effi ciencies; and

using biogas from wastewater treatment processes.

The Water Corporation has set an aspirational target to have zero net greenhouse gas emissions by 2030 and is implementing a strategy to achieve this. Areas of focus include:

improving energy effi ciency;

supporting renewable energy generators;

and managing emissions produced from wastewater treatment.

Investing in renewable energy has the greatest potential to reduce emissions. The Water Corporation is well placed to invest in a range of renewable energy sources including ocean waves, hydro-electricity, biogas, wind and solar energy.

Most electricity used by the Water Corporation is purchased. Approximately 1.5% is generated at the Woodman Point Wastewater Treatment Plant from biogas.

Almost 20% of our energy is purchased from generators of renewable energy, which includes wind, landfi ll gas, and the use of biogas. This is expected to increase to over 35% in 2008 with the Perth Seawater Desalination Plant operating at full capacity using electricity purchased from the Emu Downs Wind Farm. In addition, the Water Corporation is committed to securing renewable energy to satisfy the energy requirements of the Southern Seawater Desalination Plant.

BIODIVERSITY

The Water Corporation manages about one million hectares of land in the State. About half of this is in the South West ecoregion, recognised as one of only 34 biodiversity hot- spots in the world, and the only one in Australia.

Biodiversity is the abundance and diversity of living things and the ecosystems they belong to, on land and in water. Biodiversity is crucial to healthy ecosystem function, which helps to maintain water quality. The State’s biodiversity is under threat from climate change, land clearing, introduced pests and diseases, salinity and fi re.

Most catchment areas, water reserves, wastewater treatment plants and land reserved for future water or wastewater infrastructure have large tracts of native vegetation and sometimes water bodies such as wetlands. They contribute to the retention of biodiversity. Water Corporation owned land can also provide important ecological linkages between parcels of bushland to facilitate movement of fl ora and fauna.

The Water Corporation’s activities can also affect biodiversity, through the management of land, infrastructure development, drainage and discharge of water and wastewater to the environment.

We try to continually improve and manage the land under our care and where practical, restore or improve biodiversity. This includes minimising land clearing and severing of ecological linkages, managing pests and diseases, minimising impacts of operations on biodiversity and working with universities and research institutions to learn more about our environment.

Biodiversity is a key issue considered in the development of future water sources and the delivery of wastewater and drainage services.

SOURCE OF CO 2 EMISSIONS (KILOTONNES OF CO 2 -e) IN 2006/07 FROM WATER AND WASTEWATER SERVICES

Drainage & Irrigation - 0.1

Buildings & Depots - 9.0

Wastewater Pumping Stations - 22.0

Transport - 13.1 Water Pumping Stations - 138.9

Transport - 13.1

Water Pumping Stations - 138.9

Wastewater Treatment Plants - 87.3

Water (Other) - 15.3

Water Treatment Plants - 54.7

Bores - 78.8

OPTIONS FOR OUR WATER FUTURE

27

BUSH FOREVER SITES IN THE PERTH - MANDURAH REGION 28

BUSH FOREVER SITES IN THE PERTH - MANDURAH REGION

SITES OF HIGH IMPORTANCE TO BIODIVERSITY IN THE PERTH - MANDURAH REGION OPTIONS FOR OUR WATER

SITES OF HIGH IMPORTANCE TO BIODIVERSITY IN THE PERTH - MANDURAH REGION

OPTIONS FOR OUR WATER FUTURE

29

CULTURAL HERITAGE

The Heritage Council of Western Australia defi nes cultural heritage as including:

“Places and events which defi ne and sustain the Australian character to provide a living and accessible record of the nation’s cultural history. It comprises places, objects, events, cultural practices, stories, records and intangible values which refl ect Australia’s biophysical diversity and its cultural diversity - Indigenous and non-Indigenous.”

When planning for new water, wastewater and drainage services we consider heritage, and in particular, Aboriginal cultural heritage.

Aboriginal cultural heritage

Several years ago the Water Corporation formed a specialised Indigenous Resources Group to provide a centre of expertise for Indigenous matters, particularly those related to Native Title and Heritage Management. To underpin this group a Statement of Commitment to Indigenous people and communities has been developed with a commitment to:

consult with Indigenous groups and communities to

promote an understanding of each other’s concerns and aspirations; assist Indigenous groups to manage issues and

challenges they face as a result of our activities; identify and support partnering opportunities that make

a positive difference to Indigenous communities; and learn and work with Indigenous people to achieve sustainable management of water.

Non-Indigenous cultural heritage

There are numerous pipelines; pump stations and other infrastructure owned by the Water Corporation that have heritage value.

One iconic pipeline is the CY O’Connor pipeline, which delivers water from Perth to the Goldfi elds. In 2003, the 100-year anniversary of this pipeline was celebrated through the National Trust of Australia’s Golden Pipeline project. The Water Corporation contributed $1.3 million to this project to preserve the heritage aspects of the Goldfi elds Water Supply Scheme that delivers water from Mundaring to Kalgoorlie, a part of the IWSS water grid.

It will ensure the outstanding engineering feat designed and overseen by CY O’Connor is preserved for the community of Western Australia.

Some other heritage-listed sites that the Water Corporation own in the study area include:

Mundaring Weir (National Trust) which is part of the

Perth to Kalgoorlie pipeline; the sewer ventilation stack in Highgate Perth. It is

the only existing sewer ventilation stack of its design in the State. It opened in 1941 to ventilate Perth’s newly introduced reticulated sewerage system; and the Canning Contour Channel on Brookton Highway in Roleystone. This channel was used to transport drinking water from Canning Dam to Gosnells between 1940 and 1975 and is the only one of its kind in Western Australia.

Natural assets also have been shared by generations of Western Australians. Waterways, wetlands, rivers, the ocean and natural bushland all contribute to our outdoor lifestyle.

The Swan River, our metropolitan beaches and family picnics at dam sites are enjoyed by the community for their recreational and spiritual values. Water planning preserves these natural heritage assets for the enjoyment of current and future generations.

CATCHMENT PROTECTION AND DRINKING WATER QUALITY

Managing public drinking water catchments is essential to public health and safety.

The Water Corporation is an advocate for source protection. We support the catchment to tap multiple barrier, risk-based framework outlined in the Australian Drinking Water Guidelines.

The Department of Water, with the Water Corporation, assesses and manages public drinking water source areas to minimise potential risks from local activities and land uses.

Controlling land use in priority areas is critical to protect water quality. The Department of Water has produced a note entitled Land Use Compatibility in Public Drinking Water Source Areas. This includes a table with a list of acceptable land uses compatible with conditions or incompatible with the three priority area classifi cations. These are:

Priority 1 areas, which are managed to ensure that there

is no degradation of the drinking water source by preventing the development of potentially harmful activities in these areas; Priority 2 areas, which are managed to ensure that

there is no increased risk of water source contamination or pollution; and Priority 3 areas, which manage the risk of pollution to the water source from catchment activities.

ABORIGINAL HERITAGE SITES AND NATIVE TITLE CLAIM AREAS IN THE PERTH - MANDURAH REGION OPTIONS FOR

ABORIGINAL HERITAGE SITES AND NATIVE TITLE CLAIM AREAS IN THE PERTH - MANDURAH REGION

OPTIONS FOR OUR WATER FUTURE

31

The Department of Water has completed over 70 Drinking Water Source Protection Plans and is well progressed towards completing plans for all 139 drinking water source areas.

The Water Corporation has prepared catchment management strategies for metropolitan catchments which address land use, water quality, vegetation, land forms and hydrology and include implementation strategies. There is also a Source Water Protection Strategy for the Perth Seawater Desalination Plant.

As part of our commitment to the Australian Drinking Water Guidelines we are also developing Water Safety Plans for 245 localities in Western Australia. These plans promote near continuous monitoring at each key point in the supply chain, from the source through to treatment, disinfection and distribution to customers.

COMMITMENT TO DRINKING WATER QUALITY MANAGEMENT SYSTEM ANALYSIS AND MANAGEMENT SUPPORTING REQUIREMENTS Assesment of the drinking
COMMITMENT TO DRINKING WATER QUALITY MANAGEMENT
SYSTEM ANALYSIS
AND MANAGEMENT
SUPPORTING
REQUIREMENTS
Assesment of the drinking
water supply system
Employee awareness
and training
Preventive measures for
drinking water quality management
Community involvement
and awareness
Operational procedures
and process control
Research and
development
Verification of drinking
water quality
Documentation
and reporting
Management of incidents
and emergencies
REVIEW Evaluation and audit Review and continual improvement
REVIEW
Evaluation
and audit
Review and continual
improvement
PUBLIC DRINKING WATER SOURCE PROTECTION AREAS IN THE PERTH - MANDURAH REGION OPTIONS FOR OUR WATER

PUBLIC DRINKING WATER SOURCE PROTECTION AREAS IN THE PERTH - MANDURAH REGION

OPTIONS FOR OUR WATER FUTURE

33

HISTORICAL AND NATURAL HERITAGE SITES IN THE PERTH - MANDURAH REGION 34

HISTORICAL AND NATURAL HERITAGE SITES IN THE PERTH - MANDURAH REGION

CONNECT

CONNECT The metropolitan and surrounding areas have an extensive network of pipes and other infrastructure that

The metropolitan and surrounding areas have an extensive network of pipes and other infrastructure that allows us to connect communities to water sources and deliver safe and reliable water, wastewater and drainage services.

The IWSS water grid connects communities from the north of Perth, east to the hills, through the city, to Mandurah and at times, to other water supply systems for the South West and Great Southern regions.

We connected the Goldfi elds to support the gold rush over 100 years ago. Since then, the water grid has connected numerous small towns and farms along the way. Today over 75% of Western Australians are connected to our water grid.

Population growth, together with climate change means that we must be more creative about how we deliver services to meet our customer’s needs. This includes moving water and wastewater around the system in the most effi cient way, at levels of treatment that protect public health and the environment.

This section provides information about how our water, wastewater and drainage systems operate and how we can optimise their use. Importantly, water service delivery is linked to the land planning process and opportunities to better integrate these activities are also explored.

WATER SERVICES

The IWSS water grid supplies water to customers. There are four main components that are common to all water supply schemes.

Traditionally, surface water and groundwater schemes were the only sources used to supply Perth. Due to the impacts of climate change other types of water sources have now been added to the scheme. In 2004 the Kwinana Water Recycling Plant was built to supply treated wastewater to industry in Kwinana and in 2006, the fi rst seawater desalination plant was built to supply Perth.

A feature of the IWSS water grid is the very large number of sources supplying water to the scheme. All sources connect into the water grid and combine to supply water to Perth and surrounding areas.

The groundwater schemes are mainly located in the Northern suburbs, while the surface water sources are located in the Southern areas, in the hills. The water grid has been developed so that the Northern groundwater schemes can supply local areas and water can be transferred to Southern suburbs.

Similarly, dam water supplies local areas and can be transferred to Northern suburbs. The Perth Desalination Plant supplies water to local areas and this water can be banked - transferred into the dams for later use.

During periods of low storage in dams, groundwater sources and the desalination plant supply the bulk of the Perth demand.

WATER SUPPLY SCHEME

Water

Water

Water

Water distribution

sources

treatment

transfer

to customers

Water sources

Water sources collect or abstract water. We have four types of sources:

surface water sources – dams to collect and store

streamfl ows; groundwater sources – bores or wells that abstract

groundwater; seawater – from the ocean; and

other sources such as drainage water, stormwater and treated wastewater.

Water treatment

Source water is treated to meet the required standards of its end use (for example, drinking water). The level of treatment is dependent upon the quality of the source water and the requirements of the end use.

Most of our dams have excellent water quality and only minimal treatment is required, where chlorine and fl uoride are added.

The majority of groundwater sources require more treatment. Deep groundwater tends not to require treatment but is generally blended with other treated water due to its high temperature.

FUTURE WATER SOURCE OPTIONS OPTIONS FOR OUR WATER FUTURE

FUTURE WATER SOURCE OPTIONS

OPTIONS FOR OUR WATER FUTURE

37

The Perth Seawater Desalination Plant is a complex treatment plant involving various fi ltration processes including reverse osmosis treatment. The same process is proposed for the Southern Seawater Desalination Plant.

The Kwinana Water Recycling Plant includes various fi ltration processes and reverse osmosis treatment.

Higher levels of treatment are generally more costly and consume higher amounts of energy.

Water transfer

There is a very large network of water infrastructure that delivers drinking water from sources and treatment plants to the customers’ door. The network consists of pipes, pump stations, valves, storage tanks and reservoirs designed to deliver the required level of service.

Water is transferred from water sources and water treatment plants to storage reservoirs and tanks located near customers. Often the sources are located far away from the demand areas, so transfer systems can be large. Water is usually transferred through large pipelines or trunk mains, by pumping or gravity systems.

Treated water is transferred from the various groundwater treatment plants and dams to service reservoirs and tanks in large trunk mains. Examples of these trunk mains are the Stirling, South Dandalup, Serpentine and Canning trunk mains, which transfer water from these Southern most sources to Perth.

The service reservoirs and tanks are located in strategic locations around Perth on hills to allow gravity to supply water to customers. Examples of these are the Yokine, Tamworth and Wanneroo reservoirs and the Bold Park and Yokine high-level tanks.

In some of the Southern suburbs, distribution mains are directly connected to trunk (major) mains without using a reservoir or tank. Pressure reducing valves are used to reduce high pressure in the trunk mains.

The long-term aim is to have all customers served directly off reservoirs and tanks, as this improves the level of service. This supply philosophy has been adopted in the future planning for the IWSS water grid.

WASTEWATER SERVICES

Water distribution to customers

After water transfer, water is delivered through smaller reticulation mains directly to customers.

WASTEWATER SERVICES

The Water Corporation manages about 90% of Perth and Mandurah’s wastewater through thirteen wastewater systems.

WASTEWATER FLOWS DIRECTED TO WATER CORPORATION TREATMENT PLANTS OR INDIVIDUALLY MANAGED

Woodman Point - 33%

Very Small - 0% Small - 1%
Very Small - 0%
Small - 1%

Individual - 10%

Beenyup - 32%

Subiaco - 17%

Pt. Peron - 4% Gordon Rd - 2% Kwinana - 1%
Pt. Peron - 4%
Gordon Rd - 2%
Kwinana - 1%

Beenyup, Subiaco and Woodman Point are large wastewater systems that collectively serve more than 1.3 million people in the metropolitan area. Medium sized systems in Point Peron, Kwinana and Gordon Road (Mandurah) service over 100,000 people.

Small wastewater systems in Halls Head (Mandurah), Caddadup (Mandurah) and Pinjarra serve around 15,000 people while four very small plants at Two Rocks, Yanchep, Bullsbrook and Mundaring serve less than 5,000 people.

Wastewater collection

Wastewater

Wastewater disposal

and transfer

treatment

and recycling

AREAS SERVICED BY PERTH - MANDURAH WASTEWATER TREATMENT PLANTS OPTIONS FOR OUR WATER FUTURE

AREAS SERVICED BY PERTH - MANDURAH WASTEWATER TREATMENT PLANTS

OPTIONS FOR OUR WATER FUTURE

39

Any remaining wastewater that is not collected by the Water Corporation is individually managed on site by homes and industry through septic tank and leach drain systems.

Wastewater collection and transfer

Collection and transfer systems collect wastewater from premises by pipes and transfer it to pump stations and treatment plants. The quality of the wastewater collected is closely monitored to exclude or minimise chemicals and pollutants entering the wastewater system.

In Perth, most sewers use gravity to move wastewater around, making them very energy effi cient. There are also numerous pumping systems where gravity sewers are not possible. There are some vacuum sewers in the canal areas near Mandurah. Far away from wastewater treatment plants, the pipes are small, as they tend to deal with smaller volumes. As the volume of wastewater increases closer to the treatment plant, pipe sizes increase.

In the transfer system, pipes and pump stations that are prone to odour generation are sealed. In a few cases, vents and odour scrubbers are used to treat and reduce the odours.

Wastewater can overfl ow prior to treatment if sewer mains are blocked or broken (generally due to tree roots) or pump stations fail (generally due to power failures or bursting pressure mains). To minimise the risk of this occurring, the Water Corporation ensures its assets are well maintained. In addition, extra measures are in place to minimise the consequence of failure, such as the use of remote monitoring, emergency storage, standby power generation, standby pumps and duplicate pressure mains at certain pump stations.

Wastewater treatment

Wastewater is 99.97% water and some dissolved and suspended matter such as solids, oil and greases, detergents, nutrients, heavy metals and bacteria, which need to be removed before discharge to the environment or recycling for other uses.

Wastewater treatment plants treat wastewater to a quality suitable for recycling or discharge.

Primary treatment settles out or clarifi es about 50% to 60% of the suspended matter in wastewater. The treated wastewater is suitable for discharge through a long ocean outfall. This is used at the Point Peron wastewater treatment plant and is the practice in the large Sydney treatment plants.

Secondary treatment is typically a biological treatment process that is designed to remove suspended solids and 85% of the organic matter. The most commonly

used secondary treatment processes are activated-sludge processes and lagoons. Additional sand fi ltration and disinfection may also be used.

Tertiary (or advanced treatment) is principally designed to remove nutrients, such as phosphorus and/or nitrogen. Most suspended solids are also removed.

Tertiary treatment may additionally target other contaminants of concern, such as toxins and salt. Typical tertiary treatment processes include biological nutrient removal, enhanced pond treatment systems, reverse osmosis and advanced fi ltration systems.

Most of Perth’s treatment plants are tertiary plants, which treat water to a high standard and are designed to reduce nitrogen to less than 15 milligrams per litre. Where recycling for irrigation occurs there is also sand fi ltration and disinfection. For industrial recycling in the Kwinana Industrial Area, micro fi ltration and reverse osmosis are used.

Some Perth wastewater treatment plants have been covered to reduce odours to the atmosphere. The Water Corporation has spent over $60 million over the past 10 years on this program. In addition, there are buffer areas around each treatment plant to reduce the exposure of homes and businesses to odour.

Wastewater disposal and recycling

Treated wastewater is recycled or discharged to waterways or land.

In the greater metropolitan area, 81% of all treated wastewater is safely discharged to the ocean and about 5% recycled. 4% recharges groundwater aquifers and the balance (not managed by the Water Corporation) is disposed through septic tank systems.

Most treated wastewater from major plants is discharged to the ocean from outlets at Ocean Reef, Swanbourne and Cape Peron.

Ocean discharge is most commonly used around the world to discharge treated wastewater from larger coastal cities. The wastewater is treated to a standard to protect ocean water quality. It can be an environmentally acceptable and economical method, available all year round.

Of the major Australian cities only Sydney has longer outlets, but they discharge primary treated wastewater. Adelaide has tertiary treatment but only short outlets, while Brisbane discharges tertiary treated wastewater to the river, and Melbourne has shoreline discharges of secondary treated wastewater.

PERCENTAGE OF TREATED WASTEWATER DISCHARGED TO THE ENVIRONMENT OR RECYCLED

Groundwater - 4%

Rivers/Streams - 0.01%

Recycled - 5%

Ocean - 81%

Groundwater Septic Tanks - 10%

Perth compares very favourably with its major wastewater treatment plants discharging highly treated (tertiary) wastewater through long (greater than 1 kilometre) ocean outlets.

The Kwinana, Gordon Road, Halls Head, Caddadup, Two Rocks and Yanchep wastewater treatment plants recharge groundwater with treated wastewater. In Mundaring, the wastewater is discharged to a stream in winter and used to irrigate public open space in summer.

In the Perth - Mandurah area, recycled water from our wastewater treatment plants is used:

for processes within the wastewater treatment plant;

to provide water for industry at Kwinana and Pinjarra;

and for the irrigation of public open space.

A residual of the wastewater treatment process is biosolids that are recycled (as a soil supplement for agricultural use) or disposed to landfi ll.

Septic systems and infi ll sewerage

Some lots in the Perth - Mandurah area use septic tanks and leach drains. Generally these are located in an arc around the city from Scarborough to Melville. The majority of these

residential lots were developed in the post-second World War era on large blocks with sandy soils. There were also signifi cant unsewered areas in localities containing more clay soils including Midland and Kelmscott.

In the mid 1960s, approximately half of Perth was connected to the wastewater treatment system. The then Metropolitan Water Board introduced the requirement for land developers to connect to reticulated sewerage. In 1981, the Government Sewerage Policy was introduced.

The policy was introduced as a result of:

the large number of septic tank and leach drain systems

in the Gwelup Groundwater Public Drinking Water Supply Area, which had the potential to contaminate drinking water supplies; failing septic systems in clay soils near the river;

the contribution of nutrients to the Swan River, lakes and

wetlands from all septic systems; and the constraint that septic tank systems placed on higher density development, contributing to Perth’s urban sprawl.

The State Government introduced an $800 million Infi ll Sewerage Program in 1994. This program is nearing completion, with about 90% of all Perth properties connected to the Water Corporation wastewater treatment system.

The Water Corporation is proposing to spend over $110 million on Infi ll Sewerage over the next 10 years. Approximately $65 million will be spent in Perth and $45 million in Mandurah.

DRAINAGE SERVICES

A drainage system is a network of drains and associated infrastructure that manages the collection and transportation of surplus water, such as stormwater. By managing fl ooding to minimise property impacts, it allows for the highest and best use of land, having due regard for the need to protect the natural environment.

Perth is criss-crossed by a drainage network consisting of main drains (owned and managed by the Water Corporation) and local drains (owned and managed by Local Government). These collect water from drainage catchments and move it away from areas susceptible to fl ooding to drainage sumps (pits) where it recharges groundwater, lakes, wetlands and the ocean.

Local Government manages about 80% of all drainage in Perth. The Water Corporation manages the balance and there are over 325,000 homes and business connected to our drainage network.

OPTIONS FOR OUR WATER FUTURE

41

DRAINAGE SERVICES

Drainage

Drainage

Drainage discharge

collection

transfer

and recycling

Drainage

treatment

The Department of Water is responsible for drainage planning with the preparation of Drainage and Water Management Plans. These plans identify drainage infrastructure and associated land requirements, while managing the environmental values of the catchment. They ensure all land development includes provision for drainage systems to protect against the risk of fl ooding for both minor and major storm events.

The Department of Water is fi nalising a study into the availability of stormwater from the drainage network in Perth.

Stormwater is increasingly being managed on site to recharge groundwater that can benefi t the natural environment and may be accessed through sustainable use of groundwater systems.

Drainage collection

Stormwater is typically collected from:

natural catchments;

roof and site runoff from buildings; and

streets and other fl at surfaces such as car parks.

Stormwater is directed into drains, which can be in the form of pipes, open channels, streams and creeks. Drainage water fl ows into compensating or detention basins, where it soaks into the ground. This recharges groundwater in local areas. Due to the fact that Perth has sandy soils, opportunities to recharge groundwater are maximised through our drainage systems.

Drainage transfer

Drainage water that is not recharged to the ground is transported from collection areas and retention basins through main drains. These drains may be in the form of large pipes or open channels. They are usually large in size and cut across multiple Local Government areas.

The Water Corporation constructs and maintains these conveyance systems to meet the level of service as specifi ed in the Water Corporation’s Operating Licence and Customer Charter. In summary, we provide urban drainage infrastructure to protect against fl ooding for the peak fl ows of stormwater runoff in:

urban residential areas for a one in fi ve year peak

rainfall event; and commercial or industrial areas for a one in 10 year peak rainfall event.

The Water Corporation is also responsible for rural drains in the outer - metropolitan area.

Local Government has a requirement to provide fl ood paths through the catchment to manage major storm events.

Drainage treatment

The Stormwater Management Manual prepared by the Department of Water identifi es a number of different treatment methods to improve water quality through the drainage system. These treatments can be located within both Local Government and Water Corporation drains. Non-structural approaches such as managing fertiliser use are also promoted.

The Department of Water and CSIRO are jointly developing a research program to better understand the most cost effective methods of improving water quality. The Water Corporation is contributing to this research.

In Perth, drainage water is most often discharged to the ground through detention basins. Only excess drainage water is discharged to watercourses or to the ocean.

Due to the effi ciency of soak wells and the drainage system as a whole, 90% of the estimated 480 gigalitres of average annual rainfall in Perth is productively recharged to groundwater systems and supports associated ecosystems. The remaining 10% fi nds its way out to rivers and the ocean.

DRAINAGE CATCHMENTS IN THE PERTH - MANDURAH REGION OPTIONS FOR OUR WATER FUTURE

DRAINAGE CATCHMENTS IN THE PERTH - MANDURAH REGION

OPTIONS FOR OUR WATER FUTURE

43

Options to connect to the drainage system

Increasingly, drainage water is being retained within developments under the principles of water sensitive urban design as part of the local water balance. The Department of Water is responsible for arterial drainage planning in Western Australia and the preparation of Drainage and Water Management Plans (DWMP).

The State Water Plan 2007 identifi ed a number of districts that require a DWMP to be prepared as a consequence of land development.

DRAINAGE WATER MANAGEMENT PLANS

Drainage Water

Location

Drainage responsibility

Management Plan

Southern River

Forrestdale, Wungong

Local government drains discharge into the Forrestdale main drain

Byford

Byford

Local government drains discharge into the Oaklands rural drain downstream of the development area

Jandakot

Mandogalup - Bertram (includes Wellard) Upper Peel MD catchment

Local government drains discharge into the Peel main drain.

Interim Murray

Ravenswood, Pinjarra, Yunderup, North Dandalup, Nambeelup, Lower Serpentine

Primarily local government drains, with two rural drains in the southern catchment

District Murray

Ravenswood, Pinjarra West, Pinjarra Central, Pinjarra North, North Dandalup, Dandalup Upper Nambeelup, Nambeelup, Lower Serpentine

Caversham - West Swan

Caversham - West Swan, Viveash

Local government drains

Mundijong - Whitby

Mundijong - Whitby

Local government drains discharge into the rural drainage scheme downstream of the development area

Baldivis - Karnup

Baldivis - Karnup

Primarily Local government drains with a portion of the catchment discharging into the Peel main drain

Keralup/North Mandurah

North Mandurah, Lakelands, Stakehill, Keralup

Local government drains discharge into the Dirk Brook rural drain.

Jarrahdale

Serpentine, Jarrahdale, Stoneville

Local government drains

East Wanneroo

East Wanneroo, Carramar, Banksia Grove, Madeley

Local government drains

Alkimos

Alkimos

Local government drains

CONNECTING WATER FOREVER WITH LAND PLANNING

Current and future developments are supported by the provision of secure, safe, sustainable water, wastewater and drainage services. The continued integration of land and water planning is essential to ensure that future development can be achieved sustainably.

The Water Corporation supports land and water planning to meet the needs of our cities, towns and communities, now and in the future.

In Western Australia, the Western Australian Planning Commission is responsible for planning land development. Final approval for land development involves both the Western Australian Planning Commission and Local Government.

The Department for Planning and Infrastructure administers policies on behalf of the Planning Commission and ensures that Local Government approvals are consistent with statutory (legally binding) and non-statutory (strategic) plans and policy. The Department is also responsible for optimising investment in infrastructure (such as roads, power, water, wastewater and ports) in Western Australia to facilitate the development and expansion of the State.

The Water Corporation supports the need for improvements in water use effi ciency in urban areas. The greatest leverage for sustainable water outcomes occurs at the strategic land planning stage.

This is particularly the case when decisions are made around water sources for drinking and other use and the need for appropriate drainage and wastewater services. Sound land planning should support the preservation of key natural assets (such as rivers, waterways, wetlands, groundwater resources) and water infrastructure (such as treatment plants and pump stations).

Input into land planning process

The Department of Water has a key role to play to integrate water resource management with land planning. The Water Corporation supports these activities as a planning agency through:

input into strategic planning exercises such as Network City;

input into statutory planning policy such as Western

Australian Planning Commission policies 2.7 (source protection) and 2.9 (water resources); and input into metropolitan and regional planning schemes.

A water balance should be completed at regional scales to identify current and potential water resources and expected demand. The Water Corporation supports this work by advising on the form and scale of water infrastructure and programs, through planning informed by community engagement.

In this way, the optimum balance of new sources, water use effi ciency initiatives, water quality strategies, drainage and water sensitive urban design can be integrated with land use requirements for developments.

This type of planning is new in Western Australia. Water Forever will identify further priorities in this area.

Development of essential water infrastructure

Land development cannot progress without access to water and wastewater services. The Water Corporation is a partner in the land planning process.

The Water Corporation relies on timely and robust metropolitan, regional and town planning to identify future needs for water and wastewater services and sites to develop these services. In addition, roads and power must be in place well in advance to allow adequate time for planning, design, project delivery and commissioning of infrastructure to meet the needs of a growing Western Australia.

Delays in land planning, drainage planning, securing sites for infrastructure, provision of access roads and suitable and adequate power supplies have an adverse impact on water service delivery. If the timing of the need for the water service doesn’t change, this means that the time for community engagement, project delivery and us to conduct detailed planning is compromised.

In some instances, this has been the experience of the Water Corporation. Specifi c challenges to be addressed include:

inconsistencies and long lead times to align metropolitan

and regional planning scheme amendments with local town planning schemes; roads and power supplies are not always in place

in a timely manner to support essential water services infrastructure; and the process to obtain sites and reservations for infrastructure corridors for water infrastructure can be uncertain and prolonged.

OPTIONS FOR OUR WATER FUTURE

45

The draft Water Forever plan will identify key sites required in the study area to secure essential water infrastructure. At this time, sites are expected to be required for new:

desalination plants;

large water reservoirs;

wastewater treatment plants;

water treatment plants; and

recycling facilities.

As a general rule, the Water Corporation seeks to purchase land for these works to ensure compatible land use approvals. In particular, the land planning process at all levels needs to support adequate buffers for infrastructure.

The Water Corporation relies on land planning to secure easements to allow for infrastructure corridors to connect new infrastructure to customers. The land planning process is also relied on to ensure adequate source protection for surface and groundwater sources. Source protection is vital for public health and helps supports ecosystem health.

Protection of water infrastructure

There is over $13 billion of investment in water, wastewater and drainage infrastructure in the area covered by this study.

Water assets have very long lives, often 100 to 200 years. Once a dam, desalination plant or wastewater treatment plant has been built, there is an expectation that it will be maintained and renewed to support water services for future generations. This supports service delivery, makes economic sense and provides certainty for adjacent land holders and the community.

However, land planning decisions do not always adequately support our investment in water infrastructure. This can happen through the rezoning of land or through the loss of buffer areas surrounding key infrastructure, due to urban encroachment.

This risk is particularly high for wastewater treatment plants. Without these plants, new land cannot be developed and we cannot recycle water to industry, for parks and other uses.

The draft Water Forever plan will identify strategies and actions to support better protection of key water assets.

Lot servicing

The Water Corporation supplies water services to over 98% of the State’s population. In the study area, Western Australia’s land planning policies generally require access to reticulated scheme water and wastewater supplies before urban development approvals can be granted.

Landowners may supplement these scheme services with garden bores, rainwater tanks or greywater systems, subject to approval from the Department of Health and the relevant Local Government authority.

The Water Corporation is a referral agency for subdivision approvals and a clearing authority for water, wastewater, drainage and land use conditions.

The Water Corporation has a responsibility to connect new lots to water and wastewater services under our Operating Licence issued by the Economic Regulation Authority. Under our Customer Charter issued as part of this licence, we commit to installing or activating a water service within a fi xed period of time, once the conditions of connection have been satisfi ed.

The Water Corporation works closely with the development industry to ensure that we facilitate land development and servicing.

CREATE

CREATE Living in or near a city that is growing at the rate that Perth is

Living in or near a city that is growing at the rate that Perth is growing provides opportunities for us to create new water and wastewater services to meet our needs.

This section examines water and wastewater options for the future.

Meeting growing demand for water services

The IWSS water grid supplies water to meet consumer demand. As water demand grows, so must our water source capacity to meet that demand.

The amount that the IWSS water grid can supply varies every year. Water available from dams is directly impacted by rainfall. The amount of water available from groundwater can also vary somewhat from year to year, although most groundwater reserves are large and can withstand some fl uctuation in annual rainfall.

Due to signifi cant investment over the past fi ve years in recycling and desalination, the IWSS water grid is becoming less dependent on rainfall and more resilient in periods of drought.

Based on the population projections from the Western Australian Planning Commission, we have estimated that there will be total demand for water from the IWSS water grid of 320 gigalitres by 2020. Based on CSIRO rainfall projections, we estimate that there will be a small gap between demand and system yield of 5 gigalitres at that time.

New water solutions will be required prior to 2020 to meet this demand and increasing future demand for water, as the population grows. That may include signifi cant investment in a single source, or a range of smaller sources and water effi ciency.

The gap between supply and demand will continue to grow due to increasing demand and expected reductions in rainfall. By 2060, there is a possible gap of 255 gigalitres between water available in the system and demand, without further investment.

Planning ahead now helps us to make wise choices and keep options open for the future.

Summary of demand and supply water options

Information sheets have been developed on the many options for our water future by 2020, 2030 and 2060. These include options for customers connected to the IWSS water grid to recycle or use less scheme water. These information sheets can be downloaded from www.watercorporation.com.au/waterforever.

SUPPLY DEMAND GAP, WITHOUT FURTHER INVESTMENT, BY 2020, 2030 AND 2060

Year

Estimated

Possible

Supply -

water

system yield

demand gap

demand

 

Gigalitres a year

2020

  • 320 315

 

5

2030

  • 360 285

 

75

2060

  • 470 215

 

255

The table over the page provides an overview of water use effi ciency and source options that could be developed. Due to signifi cant climate uncertainty in latter years, we have not included estimates for climate dependent sources in 2060. These options may still have a role in our water future, but greater certainty is required to estimate the amount they may contribute to IWSS supply security.

Cloud seeding, groundwater from South West Yarragadee and moving water from the Kimberley are not being considered by the Water Corporation for water supply to the IWSS water grid and are not included in the table over the page.

Uncertainties in future source yields and costings

Each prospective water source and initiative is evaluated for their yield (amount available for use in the IWSS water grid), rainfall dependency, energy use and cost per kilolitre.

Most of the work to estimate the yield of each source option was undertaken based on the standard climate period used by the Department of Water to forecast available water resources in relatively wet years from 1975 – 2002.

As noted, too much uncertainty exists with rainfall projections to estimate yields from climate dependent sources by 2060. Rapid changes in rainfall have already occurred and we require more information to accurately forecast the impact of future rainfall on climate dependent water sources. Monitoring actual rainfalls and continuing to invest in knowledge of our climate will progressively provide more information to assist planning.

Estimates have been included for rainfall independent sources such as water use effi ciency initiatives, water recycling and seawater desalination.

WATER SOURCE AND EFFICIENCY OPTIONS TO MEET WATER DEMAND TO 2060

IWSS water supply and effi ciency options (gigalitres a year)

2020

2030

2060

 

Water use effi ciency

Water use effi ciency initiatives

4

12

40

 

Individual alternative water

Rainwater tanks

 

5

10

Not known

supplies

Garden bores

 

8

15

Not known

Greywater systems

 

3

6

15

 

Community alternative

Community bore systems

6

10

Not known

water supplies

Sewer mining systems

5

10

20

Community 3 rd pipe system

5

10

20

 

Water recycling

 

Groundwater replenishment

25

50

100

 

Industrial uses

 

5

30

50

 

Desalination

 

Southern Seawater Desalination Plant (Phase 2)

50

50

50

 

Other sites

   

100

200

Esperance pipeline

 

15

20

20

 

Surface water sources

Water trading

 

7

7

Not known

Brunswick dam

   

30

Not known

Wellington system:

 

Collie basin

 
  • 10 Not known

10

 

Wellington dam

 

14

Not known

Water trading

 

16

Not known

 

Groundwater sources

North West Coastal

   
  • 10 Not known

20

 

Jandakot expansion

 

3

3

Not known

Gingin - Jurien

 

10

20

Not known

Karnup - Dandalup

   
  • 5 Not known

10

 
 

Other options

 

Catchment management

 
  • 5 Not known

25

 

Total of Climate Independent sources and initiatives

 

112

288

515

Total of Climate Dependent sources

 

69

190

Not known

Key:

Key: Climate independent Climate dependent

Climate independent

Key: Climate independent Climate dependent

Climate dependent

 

OPTIONS FOR OUR WATER FUTURE

49

It is important to note that groundwater source costs are for local use. They do not include connection to the IWSS water grid or additional storage costs, which can be signifi cant. The location of a water source, the demand centre it will supply and the need for additional storage all need to be considered to fully cost a source option.

WATER USE EFFICIENCY INITIATIVES

Current water use effi ciency initiatives are expected to reduce demand to 145 kilolitres per person (for residential and commercial use) per year by 2012.

Further water use effi ciency initiatives could provide further savings, and partially reduce the need for new sources.

  • 1. Water effi ciency programs (40% future savings)

More savings could be achieved by more investment in Waterwise Programs and changes to building codes.

  • 2. Increased density living (30% future savings)

The future trend in the metropolitan area is for increasing numbers of multi-residential dwellings. Currently the ratio of single residential to multi-residential dwellings is 71% to 29%. It is estimated that this ratio will be in the order of 55% to 45% by 2060. The move to smaller dwellings with smaller gardens will reduce water consumption.

  • 3. Technological advancements (20% future savings)

More water effi cient appliances and irrigation systems, supported by the Water Effi ciency Labelling Scheme, Smart Watermark, rebate and retro-fi t schemes could save more water in businesses and homes.

  • 4. Behavioural change (10% future savings)

Greater environmental awareness promoted by advertising and behavioural change programs including comparative billing and social marketing could alter people’s water usage habits and save more water.

These programs could achieve savings over a range, dependent on the degree to which customers are encouraged to adopt more water effi cient habits or regulation is used to mandate change.

ALTERNATIVE WATER SUPPLIES

Traditionally, we have used drinking water supplies for almost all household and business water uses. We are now beginning to integrate alternative water supplies for non- drinking water needs. These include toilet fl ushing, garden watering and water used in the laundry.

In general, these alternative water supplies can provide individual households and businesses with small reductions in scheme water usage. The impact that they may have in helping us to meet our water future will be the product of the saving of each source at a business or household level and the degree of penetration across the metropolitan area, in both new and existing buildings.

On average, rainwater tanks are estimated to save up to 50 kilolitres a year when plumbed for indoor use. Garden bores may be plumbed for internal use as part of a community bore scheme. In this instance, they may save 71 kilolitres water from the IWSS water grid in one year.

Greywater systems are used to water gardens. On average, they can supply about 60 kilolitres of water a year for this use.

For health purposes, all alternative water sources for in home use require a back up water supply. In almost all instances in the metropolitan area, this is the IWSS water grid.

The State Government is supporting the use of alternative water supplies through the introduction of a program of changes to the Building Code known as Five Star Plus. In the second stage of this program, proposed for introduction in 2008, new residential and commercial buildings will require plumbing to be installed to allow for ease of connection to an alternative water supply for non-drinking water uses like toilet fl ushing.

POTENTIAL WATER EFFICIENCY SAVINGS

Demand programs

Cost

Savings by 2060 (gigalitres a year)

Rainfall dependence

Energy usage

Residential

< $1.50 a kilolitre

28 - 84

Low

Low

Business

< $1.50 a kilolitre

  • 9 Low

- 25

 

Low

Other

< $1.50 a kilolitre

  • 3 Low

- 10

 

Low

Rainwater tanks

Rainwater tanks have supplied rural water needs in Western Australia for many years. The Department of Health supports the use of rainwater tanks in Perth for non-drinking water uses. There is some increased risk of pollution by airborne chemical and microbiological contamination when rainwater tanks are used for drinking water purposes.

The amount of water collected by a rainwater tank varies and major determinants include:

size of roof area;

indoor and outdoor use or outdoor use only;

rainfall patterns;

number of household occupants (and usage); and

tank size.

Rainwater tanks rely on rainfall, and storage capacity is limited in urban areas by the available space (generally two kilolitres but could be as big as ten kilolitres). They are best used frequently, as this increases the number of times they can be refi lled (such as connecting for toilet and clothes washing use).

Perth gets 70% of its rainfall in four months during winter and spring. This means that the tanks may only be fi lled once or twice if they are only used for outdoor water use in a long, dry summer.

Most local councils require that a building application be approved before a rainwater tank can be installed. The State Government provides a Waterwise Rebate of up to $600 for tanks greater than 2 kilolitres that are plumbed into the house.

Garden bores

Garden bores draw water from shallow groundwater, generally to about 50 metres in depth, although some can be as deep as 100 metres. This source of water is fed by rainfall, which percolates into the ground across most of the Swan Coastal Plain. Garden bores can provide a fi t for purpose water source and can take pressure off scheme drinking water supplies.

It is estimated that there are about 164,000 garden bores in Western Australia, with about 90% in the Perth metropolitan area. These bores supply over 20% of all household water.

POTENTIAL ALTERNATIVE WATER SOURCES

Source option

Cost

Supply by 2030

Supply by 2060

Rainfall

Energy usage

dependence

Rainwater tanks

$2 - $3 a kilolitre

  • 10 Not known

gigalitres

 

High

Low

Garden bores

Less than $1 a kilolitre

  • 15 Not known

gigalitres

 

Medium

Low

Greywater systems

$4.50 a kilolitre

6 gigalitres

15

gigalitres

Low

Low

Community bore systems

$1 a kilolitre for untreated, and $4 a kilolitre for treated water

  • 10 Not known

gigalitres

 

Medium

Low

Sewer mining systems

$4 - $8 a kilolitre

  • 10 gigalitres

20

gigalitres

Low

Medium

Community third pipe systems

$4 - $6 a kilolitre

  • 10 gigalitres

20

gigalitres

Low

Medium

OPTIONS FOR OUR WATER FUTURE

51

Some areas in Perth are unsuitable for a garden bore. These areas are generally:

close to wetlands;

near the foothills and places with clay or alluvial soils;

within about 200 metres of the Swan River estuary or

the ocean, including the Cottesloe Peninsula where salt water can be drawn into the bore; near industrial and waste disposal sites where

groundwater may be contaminated; and in locations prone to acid sulphate soils.

Since February 2003 the State Government has supported the installation of garden bores through a Waterwise rebate to people in areas where bores are suitable according to the Perth Groundwater Atlas. Over 21,000 rebates have been granted since the program began (about 5,000 a year).

Garden bores depend on rainfall to recharge groundwater. As rainfall in the South West of Western Australia has fallen over the past 30 years, we need to use this resource wisely. The Department of Water is currently updating the Perth Groundwater Atlas. Rebates for garden bores will no longer be available for areas deemed unsuitable for additional bores.

In October 2007, the State Government implemented permanent Water Effi ciency Measures (WEMs) that impact the use of garden bores. In the Perth region, garden bores are now subject to a three-day a week sprinkler roster system. This is adequate to maintain a garden without wasting water and avoids the risks of overuse.

The potential for additional garden bores is generally decreasing due to a number of factors, including:

introduction of the three day a week sprinkler rostering

system for bores; loss of rebate in some areas;

smaller lot sizes making them less economical; and

waterwise gardens requiring less water to maintain.

It is estimated that between 2,000 to 3,000 new garden bores will be added each year over the next 10 years.

Greywater

Greywater is wastewater that comes from the bath, spa, shower, bathroom washbasins, clothes washing machine, laundry trough, dishwasher and kitchen sink. Greywater from the kitchen sink is generally not recycled due to the contaminants it contains.

In 2007, the average household produced about 90 kilolitres of recyclable greywater from the bathroom and laundry.

Reusing greywater may involve bucketing or installing a greywater diversion system, which diverts greywater to a subsurface irrigation system, after fi ltration. Greywater recycling involves installing a system that treats greywater to a quality for other uses such as toilet fl ushing or sprinkler irrigation.

Both treatment systems need to be approved by the Department of Health. They have published a Code of Practice on the reuse and recycling of greywater, which includes details on how to safely bucket greywater and how to go about safely installing and maintaining an approved greywater system. They also publish a list of all greywater systems approved for use in Western Australia.

Waterwise Rebates for greywater systems were introduced in February 2003 as part of the Waterwise Rebate Program. They currently attract a Government rebate of up to $500. By January 2008 only 144 households had applied for a rebate compared with over 21,000 rebates for garden bores and over 13,000 for rainwater tanks.

Community bores

The Water Corporation has been working with developers, Government departments and local councils to investigate the use of community bores (jointly owned garden bores) for outside watering and use in the home. These bores may help to conserve water as they are monitored and can be linked to weather stations to limit unnecessary watering.

Community bores generally rely on the superfi cial aquifer and as such may be impacted by falling water levels in times where there is low rainfall. They also require piping to connect the bores to homes and buildings, and this duplication can be expensive.

Sewer mining

Wastewater can be sourced directly from pipes in the wastewater transfer system before it reaches the wastewater treatment plant. This is known as sewer mining. Appropriately treated, water from sewer mining can be used in industrial applications and to irrigate public open space.

Sewer mining requires wastewater to be treated in a stand- alone system. It is most economical where use is close to a wastewater treatment main. Care needs to be taken that enough wastewater remains in the main to enable the wastewater system to work.

Historically, groundwater has provided a safer and more cost effective alternative to sewer mining in the metropolitan area. The use of sewer mining in the study area is expected to be most feasible in areas where groundwater is not available.

Third pipe wastewater recycling

Water can be sourced from greywater, treated wastewater or drainage water for non-drinking uses in and around the home. This is generally referred to as a ‘third pipe’ system as it requires an additional pipeline to the house (separate from the existing drinking water and wastewater pipes) to supply the water.

The water could be used for external uses such as garden watering and car washing as well as some domestic internal uses such as toilet fl ushing.

WATER RECYCLING

Water is considered recycled when wastewater or drainage water (stormwater) is appropriately treated and supplied to suitable end uses such as:

industrial use;

groundwater replenishment for drinking;

watering of public open space such as parks and golf

courses; and agriculture.

In April 2007, the Premier announced that a State Water Recycling Strategy would be developed to improve water use effi ciency and water recycling in Western Australia. This strategy supports the State Water Plan 2007 water policy framework to ‘use and recycle water wisely’.

The Water Corporation participated in the development of the strategy and is considering ways to use recycled water. Some of these options can be used to meet projected demand in water use.

There is signifi cant potential to recycle water for industrial use. For example, the existing Kwinana Water Recycling Plant was designed to accommodate a 60% increase of current capacity to 10 gigalitres a year. The Water Corporation has planning in place to develop this additional source, subject to fi nalising funding arrangements.

There are also opportunities to provide recycled water to other industrial locations. We support the provision of a third pipe in new industrial areas to facilitate more water recycling.

The Water Corporation is undertaking a trial at the Beenyup Wastewater Treatment Plant in Craigie to test the feasibility of replenishing groundwater with highly treated wastewater. Subject to the outcomes of the technical feasibility of the trial and community acceptance, a 25 gigalitre a year source could be developed by 2020 for public drinking water supply.

Other uses, such as recycled water for agriculture and public open space, generally do not relieve demand from the IWSS water grid, because we do not currently provide water for these purposes. Recycled water however, may provide the right alternative for these applications particularly where groundwater is scarce.

DESALINATION

The Perth Seawater Desalination Plant has been operational since October 2006, delivering 45 gigalitres a year of safe, reliable drinking water to Perth. The plant’s energy requirements are purchased from the Emu Downs Wind Farm and there have been no adverse impacts on the water quality of Cockburn Sound, strictly monitored as a condition of environmental approval.

Work to design and obtain regulatory approvals for the proposed Southern Seawater Desalination Plant at Binningup, 150 kilometres South of Perth, is progressing. The plant is designed to deliver a further 50 gigalitres of water a year, about 16% of total supply, by 2011. This site could be expanded in the future to accommodate another 50 gigalitres a year.

POTENTIAL RECYCLED WATER SOURCES

Source option

Cost

Supply by 2030

Supply by 2060

Rainfall

Energy usage

dependence

Groundwater

$1.50 - $3 a

  • 50 100 gigalitres

gigalitres

 

Low

Medium

replenishment

kilolitre

Industrial recycling

$1 - $2 a kilolitre

  • 30 50 gigalitres

gigalitres

 

Low

Medium

OPTIONS FOR OUR WATER FUTURE

53

The major advantage of seawater desalination is that it is rainfall independent. The plants can deliver a continuous stream of safe drinking water, which can be used straight away or banked into dams for later use.

More plants could be constructed in other locations around Perth to meet future water supply needs. The Water Corporation is undertaking a detailed study to determine future options for desalination plant sites.

Another major consideration is energy. A desalination plant uses 6 to 10 times more energy to produce a kilolitre of water than sourcing groundwater.

In 2005, United Utilities Australia proposed an alternative drinking water source for the Goldfi elds and Agricultural regions and the Perth metropolitan area. They proposed that water be sourced from a seawater desalination plant at Esperance and piped 385 kilometres to Kalgoorlie. The water would mainly be used for mining operations in the area and for domestic water supply in Kalgoorlie. It would also provide a drinking water source for Esperance.

The seawater desalination pipeline would result in the existing Goldfi elds and Agricultural water supply pipeline to Kalgoorlie terminating at Southern Cross. The existing scheme would remain predominantly as a scheme for agricultural towns and farmlands.

The State Government reviewed the project and found that at the time it was not the most economical option.

In general, desalination is a much more expensive source of water than traditional surface and groundwater resources. This is infl uenced by a number of factors including process design, pumping distance, need for new storage, energy costs, and construction. Final costs need to be informed by specifi c site considerations.

Other social and environmental issues may need to be considered for each plant, depending on the site location. These are addressed in site selection and detailed infrastructure planning with community engagement.

Consideration has also been given to desalinating saline groundwater from country towns. Saline groundwater has been identifi ed as a problem in 38 rural towns in Western Australia, threatening roads, buildings and other infrastructure.

A proactive approach to address this issue has been a collaborative effort between the Department of Agriculture and Food, Local Governments, CSIRO and other agencies to develop water management plans for some of these towns.

This work has identifi ed that the best option is to use this surplus water, treated to an appropriate standard, to irrigate parks and other non-drinking water uses. Using this water as a substitute for drinking water supply proved to be too costly in most instances. Where it does make sense it will be explored as a scheme option for the local town, to minimise pumping costs.

SURFACE WATER SOURCES

Most cities around the world source their drinking water from rivers and dams.

Similarly, up until about 30 years ago, almost all scheme water used by customers in Perth and the Goldfi elds and Agricultural regions came from surface water resources in the Darling Scarp. These dams provided a reliable source of water as a result of comparatively wet years.

The last major storage dam built for Perth was the Harvey Dam, located in the South West of the State, to further augment the IWSS water grid during this period of reducing water source yields.

POTENTIAL DESALINATED SEAWATER SOURCES

Source option

Cost

Supply by 2030

Supply by 2060

Rainfall

Energy usage

dependence

Seawater Desalination

$2 - $3 a kilolitre

150 gigalitres

250 gigalitres

Low

High

United Utilities - Esperance to Kalgoorlie supply

$2 - $3 a kilolitre

20 gigalitres

20 gigalitres

Low

High

Dams interrupt natural river systems and impact downstream fl ows and ecosystems. The Water Corporation manages surface water catchments to protect drinking water quality and minimise adverse environmental impacts, together with the Department of Water and Department for Environment and Conservation.

There are a number of surface water options that have been considered to meet Perth’s future water demand. They are entirely dependent on rainfall. This creates signifi cant uncertainty for these resources in the future; particularly those located in the Southern half of the State where rainfall is projected to decline.

Water trading - Harvey

Water trading is about buying a water entitlement from a licensed user. This limits additional impacts on the water resource and can provide a revenue source for the seller. Due to the high cost of securing public water supply, this can also be a cost effective option for water utilities.

The Water Corporation secured a trading agreement with Harvey Water in 2006 to permanently transfer 17.1 gigalitres of water a year from the irrigation cooperative for public water supply. Piping open channels, thereby reducing leakage and evaporation, saved this water.

Harvey Water, the irrigation cooperative, has identifi ed that there may be a further opportunity to trade 7 gigalitres of water a year through more investment in on-farm water effi ciency.

Brunswick Dam

The Brunswick River is located 200 kilometres south of Perth, near Brunswick Junction. There are several possible water source development options ranging from a small dam to a major large dam, resulting in supply of between 20 to 34 gigalitres of water per year.

The development of this dam would require additional investment in water treatment due to water quality issues in the catchment area. There are also signifi cant social and environmental considerations including clearing of native

POTENTIAL SURFACE WATER SOURCES

Source option

Cost

Supply by 2030

Supply by 2060

Rainfall

Energy usage

dependence

Water trading - Harvey

< $1 a kilolitre

7 gigalitres

Not known

High

Low

Brunswick Dam

$1 - 2 a kilolitre

gigalitres

  • 30 High

Not known

 

Low

Wellington Dam Groundwater

Dam

< $1 /KL

$2-3 / KL

gigalitres

gigalitres

Not known

  • 10 Low

Not known

  • 14 High

 

Low

Medium

Water trading

$2-3 / KL

gigalitres

Not known

  • 16 High

Low

Water from the Kimberley

$9.70 a kilolitre

  • 200 gigalitres

gigalitres

  • 200 High

 

High

  • - pipeline

Water from the Kimberley

$20.50 a

  • 200 gigalitres

gigalitres

  • 200 High

 

High

  • - kilolitre

canal

Water from the Kimberley

Not determined

  • 200 gigalitres

gigalitres

  • 200 High

 

High

  • - water bags

Water from the Kimberley

$6.70 a kilolitre

  • 200 gigalitres

gigalitres

  • 200 High

 

High

  • - supertanker

OPTIONS FOR OUR WATER FUTURE

55

vegetation, inundation of the river valley, impacts on private landowners in the catchment area, impacts on fl ora and fauna and possible loss of recreational and social values in the area.

These signifi cant issues are reasons why this resource has not been developed to date.

Wellington Dam

Wellington Dam is an existing irrigation dam on the Collie River located near the town of Collie in the South West of the State. Harvey Water manages the irrigation district that lies downstream. The dam is a popular recreational, fi shing and boating destination.

Currently, the Collie and Muja power stations use Collie Coal Basin groundwater.

Water resource issues in this area are complex due to the connectivity of the surface and groundwater resources, multiple users and the high salinity of water in Wellington Dam. In addition, the dam yields are also declining due to reduced rainfalls in recent years. Projections are for continuing declining rainfalls due to drying climate, although there may be some very wet years at times.

The State Government considered further development of the Wellington Dam and Collie groundwater water resources in 2007. The report ‘Water Source Options in the Collie- Wellington Basin’ was released in May 2007.

The report noted that Wellington Dam and Collie Basin groundwater are potential sources for public water supply. The study examined a range of options, but recommended more detailed work before decisions could be made. The Department of Water is responsible for further investigations of the recommendations made in the report.

The Water Corporation has examined three options to develop these water resources for public water supply:

short–term groundwater - there is a short term surplus

of groundwater currently set aside for mine dewatering. This water is of relatively high quality and could be accessed as a drinking water supply. The water could be pumped into Stirling Dam and then on to the IWSS water grid. long-term groundwater - if water could be supplied to the power stations from Wellington Dam instead of groundwater, the groundwater may become available for long term public water supply. A 10 gigalitre a year scheme could be developed using Stirling Dam to store the water. This would require substantial upgrades to the Stirling Dam infrastructure to connect it to the IWSS water grid; and

development of Wellington Dam for public water supply - Wellington Dam could provide a 30 gigalitre a year source for public drinking water supply. This may require a desalination plant downstream of Wellington Dam and a new trunk main to connect to the IWSS (unless the water was retained for regional use). This option is very complex and would require irrigators to trade their current allocation to the public water supply. There are also signifi cant catchment management issues that would require resolution, as the Dam is a popular recreational area.

Moving water from the Kimberley

For many years there has been community interest in developing water resources in the far north of the State for public water supply in Perth. Water resources in the Kimberley are abundant and currently there is a signifi cant amount of water from both the Ord and Fitzroy Rivers fl owing to the ocean.

These resources have not been developed to date due to access to adequate and cheaper surface water, groundwater and more recently desalinated seawater closer to Perth. The distance to transport water from the Ord River Dam (over 3,500 kilometres) is extremely high, six times the length of the Perth – Kalgoorlie pipeline.

In 2004, the State Government appointed an independent panel to evaluate the technical and fi nancial viability of transporting water from the Kimberley region to service inland communities and Perth. The comprehensive report was released in 2006.

Four options were explored in detail to source 200 gigalitres of water a year:

a pipeline – from Fitzroy River to Perth;

a canal – from Fitzroy River to Perth;

towed water bags from the Ord Dam to Perth; and

a super-tanker from the Ord Dam to Perth.

The Panel concluded that moving water from the Kimberley in these quantities would have signifi cant social and environmental impacts. In addition, energy consumption for all options was extremely high. The lowest cost option, transport via water tankers, produces 3 times as much greenhouse gases as seawater desalination.

Importantly, the water has signifi cant cultural value to Indigenous people and has signifi cant recreational and tourist value. The pipeline and canal would both require damming the Fitzroy River, which would have signifi cant impacts on the local environment.

All options are very costly. The unit cost of the cheapest option, ocean transport by super- tankers is $6.70 per kilolitre, more than 2.5 times the cost of desalination. The most expensive option is the canal option, which has an estimated unit cost of $20.50 per kilolitre.

These resources have been partially developed by the Ord River irrigation scheme which supports irrigated horticulture in Kununurra. Currently there is a State and Federal Government taskforce, which is further examining the development of these resources for local use.

Moving water from the North is not a water supply option currently being considered by the Water Corporation.

GROUNDWATER SOURCES

Since the 1970’s groundwater resources of the sedimentary Perth Basin have been developed to supply drinking water to the metropolitan area and communities connected to the IWSS water grid.

The Perth basin hugs the coast and extends North to the Mid West and South to the Southern Ocean. It has the largest fresh groundwater availability in Western Australia and supports diverse ecosystems including wetlands, lakes and caves. There are three major aquifers in the Perth basin: the superfi cial (or shallow), the Leederville and the Yarragadee.

The superfi cial aquifer is connected to the surface and can fl uctuate in response to annual rainfall. Water in the confi ned Leederville and Yarragadee aquifers is separated from each other and the superfi cial aquifer by an impermeable layer called a confi ning bed. Water in these aquifers may extend to depths of several thousand metres and may include water recharged tens or thousands of years ago, having less reliance on annual rainfall.

Groundwater from these aquifers supports public drinking water supply, agriculture, mining, industry, public open space and garden bores.

Currently about 50% of the IWSS water grid is supplied by groundwater. Groundwater supplies are relatively low cost and use small amounts of energy. Source protection areas maintain these resources for drinking water supply. The aquifers themselves provide storage of water from year to year.

There are a number of groundwater resources that have been investigated to determine if they could be options for our water future.

The following groundwater sources are currently unproven and would require signifi cant further investigation, including investigative drilling, to test the quality, quantity and viability

of the schemes. The Department of Water would need to allocate water for public water supply to develop these sources and they would require source protection.

The Karnup, Dandalup, Gingin, Jurien and North West Coastal groundwater resources are re