The devastating fires in Australia over the 2019-2020 period burnt over 12 million hectares of bush including vast areas of drinking water catchments. This was exacerbated by record-breaking temperatures, severe drought and high winds.
It highlighted the need for the water industry to have practical guidance ready at hand for the management of drinking water supplies during such events.
The Guideline aims to provide support to planning and operational staff within a water utility so that they can plan, respond and recover from a bushfire emergency based on sound practical experience. The Guideline is underpinned by a number of practical case studies from water utilities around Australia.
WSAA and the Department of Home Affairs acknowledge the leadership of the Water Sector Services Group in supporting the development of these guidelines, to improve the resilience of the Australian Water Sector.
We also thank our members and stakeholders that contributed to the preparation of the document and in particular the case studies which provide practical information for water utilities as they seek to prepare and respond to bushfires.
Download the Guideline here.