Farmer silhouette with irrigation sprinkler

Residents across Perth and parts of southern Western Australia are taking part in the Winter Sprinkler Switch-off, designed to conserve precious water supplies for when they are needed most. 

From Saturday 1 June, all scheme and bore users across Perth, Mandurah and parts of the South West and Great Southern areas are required to switch off garden irrigation during winter when lawns and gardens require less water.  

Hand watering is permitted and some exemptions apply. 

Water Corporation said the Winter Sprinkler Switch-off has been an essential water efficiency measure since it began in 2010, responsible for saving close to five billion litres of water each year.  

The measures are designed to support the sustainability of vital groundwater resources and help ensure long-term water supply security for communities across southern Western Australia. 

In southern Western Australia, where climate change has reduced dam streamflow by around 80 per cent since the 1970s, the annual switch-off is fundamental to water supply planning. 

Despite a dry lead-in to winter, the Bureau of Meteorology is forecasting average winter rainfall across southern Western Australia. 

With long-term predictions of hotter, drier weather across southern Western Australia, Water Corporation and the Western Australia Government are adapting to the challenges posed by reduced rainfall and climate change. 

This includes by becoming a global leader in seawater desalination, increasing water recycling, and increasing water efficiency across the community. 

Western Australia Minister for Water, Simone McGurk, said, “The dry, warm run up to winter shows why — now more than ever — we all need to play our part to conserve our precious water resources ahead of summer. 

“By turning off garden reticulation in winter residents collectively save around five billion litres of precious drinking water each year. This helps ensure water sustainability for all of us — right across the state. 

“Water efficiency is just one part of how the Western Australian Government and Water Corporation are adapting to the impact of climate change on rainfall. 

“Western Australia is seen as a leader in delivering climate-resilient water sources to meet the challenges posed by climate change, with other states now following our lead. 

“Western Australia was the first state in Australia to pursue desalination, and we are currently ramping up work on the state’s third large-scale desalination plant at Alkimos. 

“While we can be confident that future water supplies are secure, this doesn’t mean we can become complacent when it comes to being waterwise or underestimate the challenge posed by climate change,” Ms McGuirk said. 

Image: DedovStock/

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