The Western Australian Government has launched a new waterwise irrigation training program for Waterwise councils.

The program is a new initiative being introduced to encourage local governments to achieve and retain Gold endorsement under the existing Waterwise Council Program.

The Waterwise Councils irrigation training program will equip local government staff with the skills and knowledge to ensure best practice in efficient water use, through improved irrigation design, installation and maintenance.

The cost of the program will be fully subsidised for participating local government parks and irrigation staff, and will initially run each year for the next three years.

To be eligible for access to the training, a local government must be endorsed or working towards achieving Gold status in the Waterwise Council Program.

Local governments in the Perth and Peel regions rely on groundwater as the primary source of irrigation water for public parks and open space. However, groundwater resources are coming under pressure through a combination of increasing demand and lower recharge, due to climate change.

Western Australian Water Minister, Dave Kelly, said, “Improving the water efficiency of irrigation systems is a smart and cost-effective way that local governments can use groundwater more sustainably and increase their resilience to a drying climate.

“This training program will help Waterwise councils respond to the impact that climate change is having on our precious groundwater resources, by ensuring their staff are equipped with the skills and knowledge they need to install water efficient irrigation systems.

“The cost of the training program has been fully subsidised for local governments that are endorsed or working towards achieving Gold status in the Waterwise Council Program.”

Through the Waterwise Councils Program, many local governments are already demonstrating leadership in water use efficiency and leading by example in their communities on the efficient and sustainable use of precious groundwater to deliver beautiful, functional public open spaces and sports grounds.

The training program will be delivered through a partnership between Irrigation Australia Limited Western Australia, the Water Corporation, and the Department of Water and Environmental Regulation.

The Waterwise Councils irrigation training program contributes to the delivery of the Waterwise Perth Action Plan through key action items that aim to extend and enhance the Waterwise Council Program and recognise 100 per cent of metropolitan councils as Gold by 2030.

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