How we protect our environment
The Department of Water uses water allocation plans to protect the diverse range of environments that depend on water resources. We work with the community and stakeholders to help set environmental water outcomes and optimise our management approach.
Many people value wetlands, rivers, bushland and caves and we all benefit in some way from the ecosystem services they provide. Well-functioning water-dependent ecosystems can provide clean water, healthy fisheries, protection from flooding and storm surges, temperature regulation, and many other social and cultural benefits, including better health and well-being.
We use our expertise in the hydrological and ecological sciences to protect environments that depend on our water resources. Our job is to understand the complex interactions between water and ecosystems to work out how much water can be taken without damaging the environment. This understanding forms a crucial part of our water allocation planning. We also consider the effect water abstraction can have on the environment when making individual water licencing decisions.
The way we manage water for the environment varies across Western Australia according to local conditions and the way water is used. For example, we set operating rules for strategic water supply dams to regulate river flow and set licence conditions that will maintain groundwater levels where groundwater-dependent wetlands are at risk. We also set up monitoring and reporting systems to tell us how the environment is responding to water abstraction and other influences such as climatic variation.
To see our environmental water reports, search 'environmental water' using the Publications search link on the top right of the page.
Melaleuca Park, EPP 173 is a unique spring fed conservation category wetland, supported by the Gnangara Mound. The department's environmental water planning role is to ensure water is left in or released to the system to protect the values of a wide variety of water-dependent ecosystems.
Photo by Robyn Loomes (Environmental Water Planning)