Dam releases changed to meet dry challenge
Released 06 Dec 2010
Water is released from dams to maintain important environmental assets and for people who use the water for stock and domestic purposes, as well as irrigation.
With the poor dam inflows this winter the Department of Water in consultation with the Water Corporation have made the decision to change the dam release regime that supports downstream catchment rivers during summer.
Releases are currently made from either water mains at key locations on rivers below the dams or from the base of the dams themselves.
Department of water Director Water Resource Management Greg Davis said the department was doing its best to make the best use of available water.
"Releases are usually either made only over the summer months, or over the winter and summer months in accordance with environmental water requirements developed for the various systems," he said.
"With flow into dams this past winter being significantly reduced, we had to assess how much water we could release into catchments where there was already low streamflow.
"We have made a decision to keep water flowing to support the river environment and people who rely on streamflow for basic water supplies and business but that the flow will be at a reduced level."
Mr Davis said the Department of Water was busy contacting users downstream notifying them to expect reduced releases and asking them to reduce their use of water from the rivers by 50 per cent and where possible to use alternative water sources.
"This comes on the back of already low streamflow," Mr Davis said, "which means less available water and in many cases, people and businesses are being advised to seek alternative water supplies to meet their needs.
"In some areas users have agreed to scheduling their take so that water flows can be shared between users and that some flow can be retained in the river to protect the important river environment.
"The Department is monitoring flows regularly at all of the affected rivers.
"Our key message is to be aware of other people needs and the needs of the environment in accessing water from the rivers and to share this precious resource equitably."
Releases are made over the summer months from the following dams:
Canning, Wungong, Serpentine, North Dandalup, Lower South Dandalup and Conjurunup Pipehead.
Releases are made over the winter and summer months from the following dams:
Stirling, Harris, Samson, Drakes Brook, Harvey, Wellington, Logue Brook and Wokalup dams.
Contact: Peter Collins
Phone: (08) 6364 6848