Perth water security

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Water supply and resilience for Perth
High Priority Initiative
Location
Perth, WA
Geography
Fast-growing cities
Category
Resilience
Problem/Opportunity timeframe
Near term (0-5 years)
Proposed By
WA Government
Date added to the IPL
26 February 2020

Problem

Perth’s urban water sector faces considerable risks, including the impacts of climate change, population growth, ageing assets and changing needs and expectations from users. Failure to address these challenges could lead to rising water bills, as well as exposing users to declining service quality and reliability.

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.

Proposed initiative

The initiative is for a program of water sourcing and water demand management initiatives. This could include a mix of more conventional water sources, as well as more innovative reuse and recovery options, to provide additional sources of climate-independent potable water.

This initiative complements the national High Priority Initiative of Town and city water security.

Next steps

Proponent to identify initiatives and develop options (Stage 2 of Infrastructure Australia’s Assessment Framework).