Don't rely on scheme water in a fire

Don't rely on scheme water in a fire

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Warning to not to rely on scheme water supply during a bushfire

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With another challenging bushfire season predicted for southern Western Australia, Water Minister Dave Kelly has reminded the community not to rely on their scheme water supply if they plan to stay and defend their property.

Heat-damaged water infrastructure or power outage may result in a loss of supply.

High demand will also lead to a drop in pressure and water supply tanks can empty quickly.

While leaving high-risk bushfire areas is the safest option, those planning to defend their home must have an independent water supply such as water tanks and pumping capability in the event of power loss.

The Australian Seasonal Bushfire Outlook: December 2020 - February 2021 forecasts greater fire risk this bushfire season, with Swan Coastal Plain, Avon Wheatbelt, Jarrah Forest, Warren, Mallee and Esperance Plains bioregions all being identified as having 'above normal fire potential'.

The Water Corporation prepares for the bushfire season by clearing land and access tracks within and around its pumping stations, storage areas and catchments, and having generators and emergency water carters on standby.

However, it may not be safe for its crews to enter a bushfire zone to manage or repair the network.

The Department of Fire and Emergency Services' new My Bushfire Plan website and mobile app guides users through the creation of a plan that can be completed in minutes.

The app is available from the App Store, Google Play or https://mybushfireplan.wa.gov.au

To support bushfire plans, landowners or occupiers can take and store emergency water without it counting against their annual entitlement.

"Climate change is putting Western Australians at greater bushfire risk than ever before," Mr Kelly said.

"Scheme water supply cannot be relied upon during a bushfire, if you choose to stay and defend your home, you must have an independent water supply and power source.

"While the Water Corporation does everything possible to maintain supply, water tanks and pump stations could be damaged before the fire front reaches your property."

* More information: water.wa.gov.au/fireplanning

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