Great Southern dry season response

Our public drinking water supply schemes have been affected by the same climatic conditions as those impacting farming and other businesses in the Great Southern area.

Carting water

Drinking water carting has started, or is scheduled to start, to the following schemes.

Scheme Start date Properties served
Ravensthorpe August 2018 302
Ongerup February 2019 95
Jerramungup March 2019 184
Borden June 2019 46

Carting occurs across the State when needed for small towns with a local water scheme that relies heavily on rainfall.

When water sources reach a low level, water carting is considered the most cost-effective solution, as often there are only a small number of properties, and the cost to connect to a larger scheme far exceeds the cost of temporary carting.

Once the town’s own water supply begins to recover, carting will stop and the town is again supplied through its own local scheme.

The following schemes are being assessed fortnightly, with source capacities likely to reach low levels in mid-2019, in the absence of substantial rainfall.

Scheme Properties served (kL/day)
Cranbrook 180 75 - 205
Frankland 70 20 - 70
Munglinup 42  15 - 30
Salmon Gums  39 15 - 30

Fixed standpipes

Farming businesses that require stock water as a replacement for depleted on-farm supplies are encouraged to seek water from local strategic community water resources in the first instance. Local Government Authority (LGA) Shire offices are best placed to provide advice on these supplies. Some supplies might require swipe cards to be issued by the Shire to enable access.

Where on-farm and strategic community water resources are not available, stock water can be obtained from regional Shire fixed standpipes.

Water for spraying and other purposes can also be made available through Shire standpipes. Due to the high volumes required, and the potential impact on other users connected to our schemes, access must only be via high capacity standpipes.

Water is made available through Shire standpipes/tanks connected to our schemes for short-term emergency use, and it is important to be aware that standpipes should not be relied on a sole source of water as they can be subject to interruption. If water is needed for domestic purposes, it is important to have alternative arrangements in place.

We may have to temporarily restrict standpipes to preserve the safety and integrity of public drinking water supply schemes. In this instance, Shires will be provided with as much notice as possible so they can advise their standpipe users.

Shire standpipes (high capacity & low volume stock water)

High volume use (eg; spray water) must be taken from standpipes located on Red Pipes.

More information

Using a fixed standpipe in regional Western Australia

What else are we doing to respond?

With the help of local Shires, we are installing buffer tanks at key local government standpipes to assist in smoothing peak demand and protecting scheme integrity.

We have also started planning how we will be able to assist DWER with provision of emergency stock water if required.

In addition, we are continuing to work with DWER to identify other possible under-utilised sources such as disused town dams. While these are outside of the immediate area, they may still be able to be directly accessed by farming businesses for stock water or carted from to reinforce existing strategic community supplies, or used for carting to emergency stock water points.

Other resources

Department of Water and Environmental Regulation - Rural water support

Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development - 2019 drought seasonal and management information