Draft Gnangara groundwater allocation plan

Closed 28 Feb 2022

Opened 19 Nov 2021


The Department of Water and Environmental Regulation is seeking submissions on the Gnangara groundwater allocation plan: draft for public comment. The draft plan addresses the impact that climate change is having on Perth’s northern groundwater resources and their dependent ecosystems, including caves, wetlands and bushland.

Developed in consultation with stakeholders and based on scientific research and groundwater modelling, the 10-year plan proposes reductions to the volume of water taken from the Gnangara groundwater system.

The aquifers of the Gnangara groundwater system provide about 40 per cent of Perth’s drinking water and almost all the water for our parks, sports grounds and other green spaces, water for industry and horticulture, as well as watering of gardens and lawns with garden bores, north of the Swan River to Gingin.

The draft plan proposes that most groundwater users reduce their use. This includes a 10 per cent reduction for most licence holders from 1 July 2028, and a reduction in watering days for garden bore users from 1 September 2022 to align with the scheme water two-day per week sprinkler roster. This gives water users opportunity to prepare for reductions and should be achievable through increased irrigation efficiency with minimal loss of productivity or amenity. This small reduction is mostly possible because the plan proposes a 27 per cent reduction in water taken by Water Corporation for Perth’s drinking water supplies.

The McGowan Government has invested $750,000 to support the North Wanneroo irrigated agriculture sector to transition to reduced groundwater availability through water efficiency programs. This includes piloting independent water use assessments and developing best practice irrigation demonstration sites.

The plan proposes adjusting groundwater subarea boundaries to the Swan Valley statutory planning area to align with and support the Swan Valley action plan: Protecting the Swan Valley’s unique character. The Department has also proposed new water trading rules to align with the new Swan Valley planning scheme and support the establishment of the priority agriculture zone.

Taking less groundwater will help ensure that Gnangara groundwater resources are managed sustainably to ensure the groundwater system remains a natural, low-cost water source for Perth for the long term.

Important wetlands and native bushland will be protected and more resilient to climate change by taking the recommended actions in the draft plan.

For more details visit gnangara.dwer.wa.gov.au.  

Rebalancing Perth and Mandurah’s groundwater systems - Questions and answers

Have your say

We are interested in your views on the draft Gnangara water allocation plan and invite you to have your say. 

Feedback and comments can be provided in several ways:

  • By completing the online survey below.
  • By email to gnangara.planning@dwer.wa.gov.au 
  • By post to:
    Branch Manager
    Water Allocation Planning
    Locked Bag 10
    Joondalup DC WA 6919

Public comment on the plan is open for 3 months, closing 5pm 28 February 2022.

The Department of Water and Environmental Regulation will use feedback gathered during consultation to help inform the final plan.

About making a submission

If you make a submission, please be aware that in doing so, you are consenting to it being treated as a part of a public document. Your name will be published; however, your contact address will be withheld for privacy. If you do not consent to your submission being treated as part of a public document, you should either mark it as confidential, or specifically identify what information you consider to be confidential, and include an explanation. Please note that even if your submission is treated as confidential by the department, it may still be disclosed in accordance with the requirements of the Freedom of Information Act 1992, or any other applicable written law. The department reserves the right before publishing a submission to delete any content that could be regarded as racially vilifying, derogatory or defamatory to an individual or an organisation.

Related document

Gnangara groundwater allocation plan: draft for public comment


  • Public


  • Water policy