Water minister Mia Davies has encouraged residents in bushfire prone areas – including areas affected by January’s devastating Waroona-Yarloop fires – to secure an independent water supply and pumping capability if they planned to stay and defend their home.
Ms Davies said water utilities such as the Water Corporation would do everything they could to maintain scheme water during a bushfire but they could not be relied upon.
“This infrastructure, like anything in or near the path of a bushfire, is not immune to damage,” she said.
“If a bushfire damages infrastructure or there is a loss of power, this will result in a total loss of water.
“This is why, if you choose to stay and defend your home, it is absolutely critical that you have your own water supply and pumping capability.”
The water department encouraged those with groundwater bores or access to surface water on their property in at-risk bushfire areas to store water to support their bushfire plans.
“In the case of licensed water users, this water does not count as part of your annual entitlement and is to be used for emergency fire situations only,” Ms Davies said.
“We recommend a record is kept of the amount of water taken to support your fire plan.”
Ms Davies said rural landholders also needed to be aware bores and dams could be called upon by Department of Fire and Emergency Services and the Department of Parks and Wildlife during a bushfire for firefighting needs.
“We encourage landholders to ensure whoever is fighting the fire has access to draw points when needed,” she said.
For the latest community warnings and information about how to prepare for bushfires, go to emergency.wa.gov.au.
Water Corporation customers can check for water supply interruptions at watercorporation.com.au/faults/check-for-water-outages.