Western Australia has a great diversity of water resources – from perennial rivers of the South West and Kimberley, to the internally draining or mostly dry systems in the arid and semi arid areas. We also have some important sources of groundwater such as the ancient Yarragadee Aquifer in the South West, and the Gnangara Mound which is a significant source of scheme water for the Perth metropolitan area.

Many of our water resources are under pressure from over-exploitation, direct interference or indirect damage from incompatible or unsustainable land and water use practices. It is estimated that one third of the State’s divertible water resources are no longer suitable for drinking as a result of salinity caused by over clearing native vegetation.

This fact sheet examines the law relating to the management and conservation of water from rivers, watercourses and underground water sources. For information on wetlands see Fact Sheet: Wetlands.