Dam levels still low despite Perth’s wettest ever summer

Serpentine Dam.
Serpentine Dam.

PERTH’S wettest summer on record made little difference to dam levels which remain around 30.6 per cent capacity.

The city reportedly tallied 190.4mm of summer rain, well above the average 35.8mm.

This added about a billion litres of stream flow into Perth’s drinking water dams – but this is the amount Perth consumes on a hot summer’s day, Water Corporation spokeswoman Clare Lugar said.

“Declining rainfall over the past decade has meant the soils in our catchment areas are a lot drier than they used to be and act like huge sponges, soaking up the rainfall,” she said.

“Our catchments need a lot more rainfall to soak into the soils and then release water into streams that flow into our dam.”

Last financial year, Perth’s dams only provided 7 per cent of total water supply.

Desalination was the largest source of water at 47 per cent and groundwater formed 46 per cent.

Serpentine Dam contributed about 9 billion litres last financial year, which is about a billion more than the previous year.

“We want to remind the community the two-day-per week sprinkler roster is currently in place across Perth, so ensure your sprinklers are set for the correct day and only operate before 9am or after 6pm,” Ms Lugar said.