Managing Perth's Gnangara groundwater system

The Gnangara groundwater system is Perth’s largest natural water source for drinking water and private supply and supports our wetlands, bushland and large urban trees. The Gnangara system and the ecosystems it supports are being impacted by climate change.
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Aerial map of Gnangara groundwater

The Department of Water and Environmental Regulation has the State Government responsibility for managing Western Australia’s water resources.

We released the Gnangara groundwater allocation plan in June 2022. The plan maps out actions to reduce groundwater use in response to climate change and is based on extensive consultation, modelling and research.

Reducing groundwater abstraction will have long-term benefits for water users and will help protect important wetlands and native bushland, making them more resilient to climate change.

Gnangara groundwater provides about 40 per cent of Perth’s drinking water, irrigation for one in four households with garden bores, and almost all the water for our parks, sports grounds, other green spaces and horticulture north of the Swan River (Derbarl Yerrigan) to Gingin. It also supports groundwater-dependent ecosystems such as wetlands and native bushland.

Let’s rethink, innovate and collaborate

By working together and rethinking how we interact with water, we can secure our groundwater in a drying climate to help create a liveable, sustainable, productive and resilient Perth for the long term.

Our community, local governments, and Water Corporation have taken steps to respond to climate change by being more efficient and seeking alternative supplies. More needs to be done if we are to rebalance the Gnangara system as a whole. The 2022 Gnangara groundwater allocation plan sets out how this will be achieved. 

The Gnangara groundwater allocation plan helps to deliver one of the actions of the first Waterwise Perth Action Plan. The first two-year Waterwise Perth Action Plan set the direction to transition Perth into a leading waterwise city by 2030 and is part of the State Government’s commitment to respond to the impacts of climate change. Our ambition is for Perth to be cool, liveable, green and sustainable – a place where people want to live, work and spend their time. The second two-year plan, Kep Katitjin - Gabi Kaadadjan - Waterwise Perth action plan 2, was launched in October 2022.

Read more about the Gnangara groundwater system below.