Protecting sensitive water resources The key elements for protecting and restoring the Looking after all our water needs environmental values of sensitive water resources are: ● community understanding and support for these values ● setting of management objectives for ● water resources implementation of a practical attainment Sensitive water resources strategy for natural resource management objectives (see <www.nrm.gov.au>). Public drinking water source areas Protection of drinking water areas is important because treatment and rehabilitation of contaminated or degraded water resources is costly and does not guarantee the removal of contaminants. Problematic contaminants include pathogenic micro-organisms from human and domestic animal Looking after all our water needs faecal matter, commercial and industrial wastes, turbidity from erosion and run-off, nutrients and pesticides from agricultural practices. A multi- Department of Water barrier protection strategy is used to prevent Head Office: contamination of catchments and maintain the 168 St Georges Terrace, quality of water in public drinking water source Perth Western Australia 6000 areas. More information can be found in the Telephone: 08 6364 7600 Australian drinking water guidelines. Facsimile: 08 6364 7601 To find the location of sensitive water resources Website: www.water.wa.gov.au and where these environmental values apply, Email: firstname.lastname@example.org contact the Department of Water or view the Regional offices: Geographic data atlas on our internet site For a complete list of our regional offices, please go to <www.water.wa.gov.au> in the maps, data and our website <www.water.wa.gov.au> and select contact us. atlases section. Further information about sensitive water Feedback resources and how to protect them is available We welcome your thoughts and suggestions on these from the Department of Environment and publications. We aim to regularly update them and Conservation (<www.dec.wa.gov.au>), the Swan make them as useful as possible, which in turn will River Trust (<www.swanrivertrust.wa.gov.au>) and improve the level of protection we can provide for the Western Australian Environmental Protection Western Australia’s precious water resources. Authority (<www.epa.wa.gov.au>). Please email us at <email@example.com> or contact us via the above information. Water quality awareness brochure no. 15 June 2008 What are sensitive water resources? To be considered sensitive, water resources 4. Wetlands that are pristine or conservation- must support one or more of the following valued, but not those highly disturbed, unless environmental values: subject to active management to restore specified 1. Proclaimed or assigned as a public drinking water environmental values, including: source (i.e. in water reserves, catchment areas or a. those managed under the Environmental underground water pollution control areas). Protection Authority’s environmental protection 2. Recognised ecological functions sustained in policies such as the Swan coastal plains lakes groundwater aquifers (e.g. cave ecology). b. wetlands of regional, national and international 3. Ecological and social values in waterways (other importance, including conservation category than engineered drains or ornamental features) such wetlands, resource enhancement category as aesthetic appeal, boating, fishing, tourism and wetlands and wetlands listed in A directory swimming, including: of important wetlands in Australia. See the Australian Department of the Environment, Water, a. the Avon, Peel-Harvey, Leschenault, Wilson Inlet Heritage and the Arts website and Albany waterways management areas Water resources b. the Swan Canning Riverpark, which consists of <www.environment.gov.au/water/wetlands/ database/directory>, which also includes High-quality water ranks alongside breathable the waterways and adjacent public land of the information on Ramsar convention sites. air as a vital element to sustain communities. Swan, Canning, Helena and Southern rivers. 5. Private water supply sources including the Clean water resources are needed for drinking following uses: “ Sensitive water water, sustaining water and land ecology, industry, a. human or stock consumption agriculture and aesthetic values. Sensitive water b. commercial or industrial water supplies (with resources require ongoing protection to meet specific qualities that support the activities, these needs. resources require e.g. aquaculture, cooling, food or mineral ” processing or crop irrigation) ongoing protection c. garden or municipal water supplies (which can Water quality affect people’s health or wellbeing). Sensitive water resources should wherever possible remain within specific quality limits. They may require stringent and conservative protection measures to meet these limits. Guidance on the water quality parameters and limits necessary to maintain water resource values are published in the Australian Government’s National water quality management strategy guidelines papers 4 and 6. Human activity and land uses may pose a risk to water quality if contaminants are washed or leached into sensitive water resources in discernible quantities.