Funding announcement during Water Week
Mayor Mark Irwin and Acting Chief Executive Officer Stevan Rodic joined Water Minister Hon Dave Kelly MLA earlier this week as the WA Government announced funding to help local governments reduce their groundwater use under the Gnangara groundwater allocation plan.
Under the State Government’s Gnangara Groundwater Allocation Plan (GGAP – released in June 2022) the City of Stirling and other local governments in the plan area, will have their groundwater allocations reduced by 10 per cent from 2028 to help rebalance the Gnangara groundwater resources.
Gnangara groundwater provides about 40 per cent of Perth’s drinking water, irrigation for one in four households with garden bores, and almost all of the water for our parks, sports grounds, other green spaces and horticulture north of the Swan River (Derbarl Yerrigan) to Gingin. It also supports groundwater-dependent ecosystems such as wetlands and native bushland.
To support the implementation of the GGAP, the State Government announced at the time that it would invest $11.5 million over the next four years to support the horticulture industry, local government and to help garden bore users adapt.
The McGowan Government has this week launched a new $4 million support program for local governments to support projects that improve water efficiency and urban cooling in the suburbs, through initiatives such as redesigning public open spaces, using water sensitive urban design, planting tree canopy for shading, hydro-zoning and undertaking water audits.
Mayor Mark Irwin said the funding showed the collaboration between different levels of government, and was a welcome announcement during National Water Week.
“Our new long-term strategic plan, Sustainable Stirling 2022-2032, sets out a bold vision for us to become a sustainable City with a local focus, and being water-wise is a major component of the City’s approach to environmental sustainability,” he said.
“Council adopted a Water Smart Parks Strategy in 2013 to address future impacts of rain reduction and groundwater licence reductions, and over the past three financial years, Council has been slowly converting low-usage turf areas to native landscaping and mulching under our Waterwise Council Action Plan 2021–2026.
“Our efforts in this space are designed to help us become more innovative in leading the sector for sustainable water use, aligning to the State Government’s plan to protect our precious groundwater resources as our climate changes.
“It was an honour to welcome the Water Minister Dave Kelly MLA to Yokine Regional Open Space earlier this week and join him for this announcement.”
Minister Hon Dave Kelly MLA said the impacts of climate change, reduced rainfall and increased use, mean that Perth and Mandurah's precious groundwater supply is disappearing beneath our feet.
“We need to reduce our groundwater use in order to minimise the impact that climate change is having on our wetlands, bushland, street trees, recreational parks and groundwater quality,” he said.
“This funding will assist the local governments most impacted by the urban heat island effects, to reduce their reliance on groundwater and improve their public open spaces.
“This support program is one of the many actions of Kep Katitjin - Gabi Kaadadjan - Waterwise Action Plan 2 that will help Perth and Peel transition to leading waterwise communities by 2030.”
The State Government, through Water Corporation, is committing $6.5 million to assist households with making their gardens more water efficient. This includes rebates on smart irrigation technology, spring sprinkler system check-ups and waterwise workshops. The City also continues to support residents to become more waterwise, by providing regular free community workshops and annual programs like the Waterwise Plant Giveaway, Waterwise Verge program, and Sustainable Verge Awards.
Information on water efficient gardening and products, along with how to apply for rebates, is available on the Water Corporation website at Waterwise Advice.
More information on the State Government's plan to rebalance Perth and Mandurah's groundwater resources is available at Rebalancing Our Groundwater | Western Australian Government.
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