Council fears for water supply

Operations manager Torre Evans.
Operations manager Torre Evans.

‘Groundwater reserves in Mosman Park are diminished both in quantity and quality due to the use of groundwater for reticulation over many years and as a method to supplement for Perth’s naturally dry Mediterranean climate,’ the council’s operations manager Torre Evans said.

Before temperatures reached the mid-30s last week, councillors instructed their staff get more information on how to preserve the town’s layer of fresh water that is 3-8m thick at varying depths, at last month’s meeting.

The thinnest is just 3m at the McCabe Street depot’s reserve and EG Smith Park 350m from the Swan River.

However, just 100m from the park a bore showed the water was 8m deep and at a similar depth at Mann Oval in the middle of the town.

The council is concerned use of the fresh water at current levels will allow polluting salt water from the Swan River and Indian Ocean to move inland and rise, endangering the resources.

A 2012 Integrated Catchment Management Plan by consultants JDA and Associates included waste flows from seven storm drains to the river, 16 sumps and 25 bores in Mosman Park.

Staff used the plan to recommend the council reduce its bore water use by 10 per cent and educate private users to do the same.

It was also suggested to improve the monitoring of public bores, expand water saving initiatives and have more efficient watering regimes in recreation areas.

However, councillors did not adopt the measures immediately and instead noted the plan and told chief executive Kevin Poynton to get more information, including Department of Water advice, about the proposals

Mr Poynton will report if some of the measures can be done this year and the remainder paid for in the 2013/14 budget and beyond, at the May meeting.