Hon Graham Jacobs MBBS FRACGP MLA

Hon Graham Jacobs MBBS FRACGP MLA

Former Minister for Water; Mental Health

    October sprinkler ban update

    31/10/2010 12:00 AM

    Water Minister Graham Jacobs today praised the community for water restraint during the first month of the spring one-day-a-week sprinkler roster but expressed disappointment at the continuing high weekly number of warnings and infringement notices.


    In the final week of October more than 450 warnings and 90 infringement notices were handed out by Water Corporation inspectors ahead of 383 warnings and 50 infringement notices the previous week.  The good news was that these numbers were both down on the second week in October when there were a total of 747 breaches overall.


    Fines are issued when an offender is caught with sprinklers on by an enforcement officer, however warnings are still issued for reports of sprinkler use to the WaterWise call centre.


    “It is disappointing there are still people who are flouting the roster at a time when it is patently obvious we all need to do our bit to conserve as much water as we can following the lowest run-off into our dams ever,” Dr Jacobs said.


    “However, it is encouraging that at least the number of breaches is moving in the right direction and people are getting the message that we are all in this together.


    “The really good news is that during the past week water consumption was actually seven per cent below what the Water Corporation would expect us to use at this time of the year.


    “I congratulate everyone and urge that we all keep our water saving ethic going and stay with the sprinkler roster day to the end of November.”


    The Minister emphasised the fact that the State Government had a responsibility to look not only at measures to reduce demand now to assist with water supply this summer but also for the 2011-12 summer.


    “Residents of Perth, Peel and the South-West need to ensure they are doing  everything possible to assist in water management should next winter’s run-off into our dams be anything as low as it was this year,” he said.


    “There was actually only about six gigalitres of run-off this year compared to an average of 100 gigalitres a year during the past decade.


    “That is far worse than anything the corporation had predicted in its 50-year plan, and played a big part in our decision to reduce sprinkler use for spring from two-days-a-week to one.


    “The corporation has advised that even with the new desalination plant fully producing next summer and perhaps an increased groundwater allocation, we will still need about 70 gigalitres of run-off into the dams next winter and spring to ensure we do not have to consider a restrictions roster again at this time next year.


    “These are the issues we are faced with when considering our actions in this area.”


    Dr Jacobs said a decision on whether a two-day roster would be reinstated at the end of spring would be made during November.


    The dams are currently at 34 per cent capacity with 102 gigalitres of water available for use. This is 120 gigalitres less than at the same time last year and the equivalent of Mundaring Weir filled to capacity twice.


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    Minister's office - 9213 6900