Learn how
to use groundwater

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.

To learn more, download one of our factsheets below:

Garden bores

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

Well-style bore

Well-style bore

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

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:

Are you ready
to be groundwater wise?

Contact us

If you would like more information on groundwater or garden bores, send us an email by completing this form.

Department of Water and Environmental Regulation logo

Be Groundwater Wise is an initiative of the
Department of Water and Environmental Regulation and the Water Corporation to encourage responsible groundwater use in Western Australia.