Australian Partners

Department of Water and Environmental Planning (WA)

As the state’s water resources manager, we work with stakeholders to provide clear, coherent and credible strategic advice and develop enabling regulatory frameworks, by:

• Continuing to modernise the state’s water legislation and management approach
• Leading policy development for, and advice on, best use of water resources, water source development and efficient and effective water services
• Communicating clear policy advice that is actively aligned and responsive to state government priorities and directions
• Providing expert advice to integrate water and land use planning, and mining and environmental impact assessment processes.
Determine what water is available and how it is shared to meet current and future water needs, by: measuring and assessing groundwater and surface water in priority areas, including assessment of environmental values
• Supporting current and future state development.
• Identifying future water supply options to meet demand across the state
• Finding and implementing water recycling and efficiency opportunities.
• Protect and recover water resources now and for the future, by:
• Protecting drinking water sources
• Enabling urban development by integrating land and water planning for effective drainage and protection from flooding
Measuring, evaluating and managing the impacts of water use and land use impacts on rivers, streams, wetlands and aquifers Manage licences to take and use water, permit works to be undertaken and provide expert advice on water management in accordance with legislation by:
• Reducing regulatory burden
• Working with licensees and industry to ensure awareness and compliance with regulatory requirements
Regulating water use through licensing, trading and water efficiency measures. We provide advice on water service delivery and set standards for water supply, drainage, sewerage and irrigation services, including the setting of customer service standards.

1. measuring and assessing groundwater and surface water and consideration of environmental values
2. determining available consumptive use water for public water supply, irrigation, industry and other users while meeting environmental and social water needs
3. using water information and water science to inform decision making and respond to water quality and availability
4. providing economic advice relating to provision of water services
5. identifying flood risk and management, investigations and opportunities
6. identifying future water supply options to meet demand across the state
7. identifying innovation opportunities such as water recycling and efficiency
8. protecting drinking water sources and integrating land and water planning to support urban expansion
9. measuring, evaluating and managing the impacts of water use on rivers, streams, wetlands and aquifers
10. providing expert advice to integrate water and land use planning, and mining and environmental impact assessment processes.

  • Managing for a drying climate
    The Department has developed standard climate scenarios for five climatic regions. These scenarios are based on model results from IPCC work, in combination with results from 12 climate models which showed superior skill at reproducing the patterns of WA climate. The assessment found that representative wet, median and dry scenarios could be used to estimate the variability of future climate in the south west of the state. For the remainder of the state the longest available historical record was considered as currently adequately reliable as the climate scenarios for hydrological modelling and impact assessment. This information is now being used in water management across the State.
  • Groundwater management for growth
    The State Groundwater Investigation Program is part of a 15-year plan that brings social, economic and environmental benefits to Western Australia. The main objectives of the program are to: better define the hydrogeology of our aquifers; assess groundwater salinity and seawater intrusion; determine the sustainability of groundwater resources in light of current and projected water use and climate change, and to manage impacts of groundwater abstraction; and improve the monitoring of groundwater levels and groundwater quality. Water allocation plans use this scientific information to plans set out how much water is available from a particular resource or area and how much water needs to be left in the system to ensure its sustainability.
  • Balancing longterm demand and supply
    The Department has developed a Water Supply-Demand Model (WSDM) that brings together data related to water use, water resources, economic growth and population forecasts to project future water demand and supply down to the level of individual water resources. An important element of the WSDM project has been broad agreement across government and industry groups on scenarios for future economic and population growth and how such growth translates to projected water demand. Demonstrating that government is joined-up, consistent and transparent in its outlook for growth means the results are trusted to inform future land and water planning and development.
  • Water for Food
    A statewide four-year $40 million state government program providing a boost to regional Western Australian communities through the development and diversification of the agriculture and food sectors. This innovative plan is directing state investment into crucial areas of agriculture, including market development, science, infrastructure and water investigations. It will create the potential for new irrigation precincts and the expansion of agricultural and pastoral opportunities in existing districts across the state. The program will support public and private sector investment decisions for new, large-scale irrigated agriculture precincts and the expansion of existing areas by identifying where water is available, along with its quality and quantity.
  • Integrated land and water planning
    The Department advises other government agencies on managing impacts of land planning and development proposals, for example subdivisions, pastoral leases or mining licences, on water resources. The Department of Water prepares guidelines, strategies, and drainage and water management plans and water quality improvement plans to manage and protect water resources in urban environments. These plans inform the district planning and assess catchment-scale water constraints and water use and management opportunities at the pre-development stage which has been identified for priority urban development.
  • Water Service Legislation Reform
    In 2012 the Department delivered a major reform of Western Australia’s water service legislation framework. The reforms, affecting services delivered across the state to 2.5 million people by 31 water utilities streamlined regulatory arrangements and increased protection for customers while allowing greater private sector participation.
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