Groundwater is a hidden water resource. Groundwater comes from rain that naturally seeps into the ground and is stored in spaces between soil and rocks – aquifers.
Since 1975, Perth’s average rainfall has declined by 15 per cent due to climate change, which means there is less water soaking into our aquifers, and less groundwater to share.
Climate change is real. We all need to use groundwater wisely if we want Perth to remain the liveable, vibrant and green city we know and love.
What is groundwater? Video 30s
How is groundwater used? Video 30s
Groundwater and the environment Video 30s
If you are using a garden bore, you are sharing Perth’s precious groundwater. There are around 190 000 garden bore users across the Perth and Peel regions.
Applying only the amount of bore water your garden needs helps save groundwater to keep our wetlands, lakes, bushland and trees healthy.
What is a garden bore?
A garden bore is used to draw groundwater up to the surface and usually includes a bore hole or well, pipe work, and a pump. A garden bore is usually connected to a garden irrigation controller.
Do I have a bore?
If you live in an established property, you may not be aware that you have a garden bore. To check if your irrigation system runs off a garden bore, turn off your scheme water supply at the meter, then turn the irrigation on at the controller. If your irrigation works then you probably have a bore. Power cables running from the irrigation box into the ground may also indicate a mains-powered bore pump.
Types of bores
Older well-style bores usually have a metal cone-like lid and a manual on and off switch. A manual switch set up can result in over-watering when the operator forgets to turn the switch off.
Submersible pump bore
Newer submersible pump bores are usually located underground in a box with a lid that is flush with the ground. Submersible bore pumps are more energy efficient than older well-style pumps .
Garden bore maintenance
Whether your bore is old or new, regular maintenance will help make sure you are using groundwater efficiently. Regular inspection will help you spot signs of scaling, corrosion, damage, leaks or contamination.
You should also keep a record of the location, construction details and make and model of your garden bore. A Waterwise service provider can help you with bore maintenance or repairs.
Perth’s groundwater is a precious resource. Creating a Waterwise garden is one of the most efficient ways you can save groundwater. Here are some tips to help you use groundwater wisely in your garden:
Stick to the sprinkler roster
You may water your garden once per day on your rostered sprinkler days.
Water right for the weather
Reduce your watering time in cooler weather and switch off your sprinklers when it rains.
Only water before 9 am or after 6 pm to help reduce evaporation loss.
Switch off your sprinklers in winter
There is a winter sprinkler switch-off in Perth and Mandurah from 1 June to 31 August.
Hydrozoning is where plants with similar water, nutrient and maintenance requirements are grouped together in the garden. Hydrozoning makes it easier to deliver the right amount of water for your plants’ needs.
Choose Waterwise species
Drought-tolerant or Western Australian native plant species usually require less water.
Automate your irrigation
Automatic irrigation controllers can be programmed to suit weather conditions, seasons and watering rosters. They will also save time and help prevent over- or under-watering.
Choose the right sprinkler and irrigation systems
The right irrigation system can prevent over-watering and save a lot of water. Garden beds should use drip systems while lawns should use rotary sprinklers for even water distribution.
Discover water saving technologies
Water saving technologies, such as evapotranspiration, rain and soil moisture sensors, can be fitted to automatic irrigation systems to ensure you water only when needed.
Use Waterwise service providers
Using a certified Waterwise irrigation professional to design, install, repair and maintain irrigation systems will help save water, time and money.
Improve your soil
Good quality soil is essential for a healthy Waterwise garden. Perth’s sandy soils have a low water and nutrient holding capacity. Adding a soil conditioner and wetting agents to your soil will help plants develop strong root systems and become more drought tolerant.
Mulch your garden
Applying a 5-10 cm layer of mulch to your garden will help keep the moisture in, reduce evaporation and weed growth. Look for a coarse mulch with the Waterwise and Smart Approved WaterMark symbols.
If you would like more information on groundwater or garden bores, send us an email by completing this form.