26 September 2023

Water warning as bushfire season looms

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The Department of Water and Environmental Regulation has urged residents in bushfire-prone areas to consider their water supply in preparation for what is expected to be a challenging bushfire season.

In a statement, the Department said infrastructure that delivered scheme water to properties could be damaged and power failures could result in a total loss of water.

“High demand can also lead to a drop in water pressure and water supply tanks can quickly empty,” the Department said.

“While leaving during a bushfire is always the safest option, residents planning to defend their home must have an independent water supply, such as water tanks and pumping capability in the event of power loss.”

According to the Bushfire Seasonal Outlook for Summer 2022, a higher-than-normal fire risk is forecast for Central Western and Southern areas of the State this summer.

“As part of its bushfire preparedness program, the Water Corporation undertakes a number of activities throughout the year to reduce risk to critical infrastructure,” the Department said.

“This includes clearing land and access tracks within and around pumping stations, storage areas and catchments, and having generators and emergency water carters on standby,” it said.

“During a bushfire it may not be safe for crews to manage or repair damage to the network.”

Minister for Water, Dave Kelly said the impacts of climate change continued to be felt across the State.

“This is particularly true in Central and Southern regions where reduced rainfall and higher daily average temperatures have created conditions for another season of severe bushfires,” Mr Kelly said.

“The water supply network is designed to provide drinking water to the community, not fight bushfires, and assuming water will always be available during a bushfire could have life-threatening consequences.”

More information about planning bushfires and dealing with them can be accessed at the Department’s website at this PS News link.

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