Water sources in Perth and across Western Australia’s south-western coast face considerable risks, including the impacts of climate change, population growth, ageing assets and changing needs and expectations from water users. Failure to address these challenges could lead to rising water bills, as well as exposing users to declining service quality and reliability.
Declining groundwater availability for non-potable uses also creates risks to urban livability; potentially constraining or increasing the costs of development where alternative water supplies are needed.
Perth’s current water supply comprises a diverse portfolio of water sources, including surface water, groundwater, desalinated seawater and recycled water, serving a population in excess of 2.3 million in the Perth metropolitan area, and the Goldﬁelds and Agricultural Water Supply area.
Streamﬂow entering Perth’s water storages has dropped from a pre-1975 average of 420 gigalitres (GL) per year, to a post-1975 average of 184 GL per year. In 2015, streamﬂow dropped to 16 GL, or just 4% of the pre-1975 average.