Reduced rainfall and the impact of climate change across the south west of WA has created sustained interest in the idea of sourcing water from the Kimberley region.
An independent expert panel formed in 2004 evaluated the technical and financial viability of bringing water from the Kimberley to Perth and found that the project was high risk, high cost and impractical. As a result, transporting water from the Kimberley is not currently being considered as a viable option for Perth.
The review found transporting water from the Kimberley to be energy intensive. As well as this, rainfalls in the north of WA are highly variable and are expected to continue to be in the future, so there is no certainty of a consistent supply from the region. The resulting social, cultural, environmental and economic costs are significantly higher than other sources, such as desalination.
Our more affordable and efficient solutions to secure water supply include increasing recycling, replenishing groundwater stores with highly treated recycled water, desalination and transferring groundwater abstraction to deeper aquifers to protect the groundwater environment.
For more information see Options for Bringing Water to Perth from the Kimberley - An Independent Review.