• Future water source planning underway with option to be determined late-2024
  • Extra 500 million litres needed by 2050 to support long-term community and economic development
  • Seawater desalination and new groundwater sources possible options  

Important work is underway to identify Exmouth's next drinking water source, to support the continued development and prosperity of one of Australia's most popular tourism towns.

Potential options include sustainable groundwater sources south of Exmouth, a small-scale seawater desalination plant, or a combination of both sources.

In assessing available options, Water Corporation will consider delivery timeframes, environmental sustainability, and long-term community benefit. A preferred option is expected to be known in late-2024.

Growing demand is placing pressure on existing groundwater sources that supply the Exmouth Water Supply Scheme, requiring an additional source to supplement supply.

The scheme currently supplies about 3,000 residents along with a significant number of tourists, who visit the region each year. Seasonal fluctuations in demand can mean the scheme often operates close to capacity.

Water Corporation continues to work with the Exmouth community to ensure the sustainable use of the existing water resources. This includes targeted engagement with large water users, irrigation audits, enhanced leak detection, and ongoing waterwise community offerings including irrigation controller programming, plumbing retrofits, and fixture repairs.

With increased population and economic growth, it's estimated Exmouth will need an extra 500 million litres to meet demand to 2050.

At the same time, CSIRO modelling predicts climate change will lead to higher temperatures, more extreme weather events, and less reliable rainfall across the region.

Water Corporation will work closely with Government agencies, the Shire of Exmouth, Traditional Owners, and environmental groups throughout the planning and delivery of the project.

One million dollars has been secured from the Australian Government's National Water Grid Authority to support initial investigations.

For more information on new source options, and updates on opportunities for community feedback and involvement, visit watercorporation.com.au.

Comments attributed to Water Minister Simone McGurk:

"Water sources in Exmouth are under pressure due to growing demand and increasingly unreliable rainfall patterns. We're acting now to ensure residents and visitors alike have secure, sustainable drinking water long into the future.

"Whichever option is selected, it needs to be sustainable. This means considering the future impact of climate change and the cost effectiveness of a new water source.

"Thorough planning takes time, and Water Corporation is engaging with key stakeholders to ensure the selected new source best supports the community's long-term water needs."

Comments attributed to Mining and Pastoral Region MLC Peter Foster:

"I support efforts to grow tourism and residential capacity in Exmouth, and these investigations support that vision.

"Securing sustainable water for this important north-west town is a priority of the Cook Government. Addressing demands on water into the future will support long-term development and prosperity of the town."