According to the Bureau of Meteorology, this winter was Perth’s warmest and fourth driest on record.
WA Minister for Water Dave Kelly said yesterday low rainfall to the end of August is another stark reminder of the ever-increasing need to stay water wise in the face of climate change.
“As WA’s climate gets hotter and drier, and as the population grows, managing demand is equally as vital as investigating in new sources of water,” Mr Kelly said.
“Climate change continues to be the biggest challenge facing Perth’s water supply system and in response, we all have a role to protect it and to adapt the way we use water.”
Only 490mm of rain was recorded by the end of winter this year, which is 27.6 per cent below the long-term average.
Curtin university chemical engineering lecturer Paul Wilkes says Australians’ need to be serious about climate change and make sure everyone is doing the right thing.
Perth no longer relies on rainfall alone to fill its dams.
The WA Government has invested more than $2.2 billion in climate-resilient water sources, with desalination seawater now suppling 43 per cent of water to Perth homes and businesses.
Dr Wilkes says Perth has taken the right steps in having two desalination plants.
“Australians’ are clearly experiencing drier and hotter conditions, therefore much less rainfall running into our dams, so that is a serious issue,” he says.
“Perth has done a good job in starting two desalination plants in Kwinana and Buyup, down near Bunbury.
“This has supplied WA with good insurance against water shortage and we can expect to see more of these in the future, with recycled water becoming more common.”
Owners at Garden Affairs Bruce and Bernadette Jourdain says everyone can reduce how much water they use in their gardens.
“Forty per cent of the water used in our household is in the garden, so it is important to know your garden and know your plants” she says.
“We are lucky here in Perth, we are spoilt with the array of plants we can decorate our house and gardens with.”
Mr and Mrs Jourdain suggest buying native plants and utilising your sun and shade exposure in your garden.
“Bruce and I have been gardening for most of our lives and we understand how important it is to reduce water waste in our gardens,” Mrs Jourdain says.