Water Minister Graham Jacobs today renewed his call for householders, councils and businesses to observe the total winter sprinkler ban as the second month of winter ended with virtually no inflow into the dams and at least another week of sunny weather ahead.
Dr Jacobs said there were no excuses for breaking the ban and urged residents in the populous South-West corner of the State to adhere to it to ensure water security.
“We all need to play our part in this. Water security needs to be taken seriously and I implore West Australians to turn off their sprinklers,” he said.
The Minister released Water Corporation figures that showed in the first two months of the three-month ban, more than 2,350 warnings had been issued to scheme water users and approximately 1,000 to bore water users.
The 10 worst-offending suburbs for contravening the ban were Stirling, Dianella, Canning Vale, Dallyellup, Ellenbrook, Australind, Leeming, Innaloo, Como and Willetton.
“These figures are a lot higher than at the same time last winter when the trial ban was in place,” Dr Jacobs said.
“Water Corporation inspectors will continue to be out across the city and in regional centres where the ban applies for the final month for this year because the vast majority of people support this sensible initiative and expect those who transgress to be warned or fined if they persist.
“There is no excuse at all for using water on lawns and gardens at this time of year because, despite the comparatively dry weather, there is well and truly enough moisture and some rain to keep them alive.”
The Minister said it was of concern that signs were beginning to show this winter could equal the State’s worst dam inflows in the last 10 years.
Dr Jacobs said the inflow pattern so far was showing that unless there was major and consistent rain in the hills, there existed a very real chance of a repeat of the 2001 and 2006 run off years when the dams overall were only boosted by 25 gigalitres (2001) and 30 gigalitres (2006).
“We still have slightly more water in the dams than the same time last year but with sunny weather ahead that situation could change within a week.”
The Minister said minimum run off this year was clearly demonstrated by dams being at 34.8 per cent capacity at the beginning of July and 35 per cent at month’s end.
Dr Jacobs said the one positive was that the community in general was using less than the corporation expected at this time of the year with the total usage for the last week of 3.4 gigalitres being on average seven per cent below that expected.
“That’s encouraging but there is no doubt we need to continue to use water sensibly and efficiently,” he said.
The Minister said other water-producing alternatives were on track with the Southern Seawater Desalination Plant expected to be commissioned next year and trials continuing on the benefits of aquifer recharge.
Minister's office - 9213 6900
Winter Sprinkler Ban Data to End of July, 2010
· Total warnings and infringements issued for July 1, 2009 to August 31, 2009 was 1,568 scheme warnings and two infringements. This was for all regions across the State except for the north-west where the winter bans were not applicable.
· The total winter breaches issued in 2009 (July and August) for Perth and South- West were:
Perth - 1,384 warnings and two infringements
South-West - 132 warnings and zero infringements.
· The total warnings and infringements issued for June 1, 2010 to July 27, 2010 was 2,332 scheme warnings and 10 infringements. This was for the regions of Perth, South-West and Great Southern.
· The total winter breaches issued in 2010 to date (June and July) for Perth and South-West are:
Perth - 2,040 warnings and nine infringements
South-West - 281 warnings and one infringement.
· July to July comparison for Perth and the South-West:
Perth - 882 warnings and one infringement
Perth - 933 warnings and seven infringements
South-West - 92 warnings and no infringements
South-West - 68 warnings and one infringement
The figures above are all for scheme water. Figures are not kept for bores in individual regions, just a total.
· Bores: for June and July this year - Water Corporation have issued 966 warnings for bores, with no infringements. In July and August 2009, the Water Corporation issued 557 warnings.