Using garden bores

Think climate change. Be waterwise.

Managing garden bore use

Perth’s precious groundwater needs to be carefully managed and is a shared responsibility for all water users so it can continue to support our environment, lifestyle and economy into the future.

We all need to do our bit to conserve this precious resource, especially if you have a garden bore.

Groundwater abstracted by households using garden bores makes up a significant and largely hidden component of residential water use in Perth.

The Department of Water and Environmental Regulation is responsible for regulating and managing the state’s water resources, including the use of garden bores. Garden bores are small bores, usually taking small amounts of water individually for non-commercial purposes.

Garden bores generally don’t need to be assessed or licensed under the Rights in Water and Irrigation Act 1914 and instead are regulated under the Water Agencies (Water Use) By-laws 2010. The by-laws specify permanent water efficiency measures, temporary water restrictions and exemption provisions.

Permanent water efficiency measures are ongoing and include restricting the use of sprinklers during the day, sprinkler rosters, and the winter sprinkler switch off. The daytime sprinkler ban and sprinkler roster was introduced for garden bore users and licensed groundwater users in 2007, and the winter sprinkler switch-off in 2010.

Temporary restrictions can be enacted by the Minister for Water during a drought or emergency to conserve water for essential needs. These measures and restrictions are regulated by the Department of Water and Environmental Regulation and enforced by water service providers such as Water Corporation, Aqwest and Busselton Water.

The department also:

  • guides best practice and installation of garden bores, including which areas are more environmentally suitable, through the Perth groundwater map and recommended minimum bore construction requirements
  • runs and supports education and awareness campaigns and programs that encourage garden bore users to create waterwise gardens and use water-efficient irrigation, to reduce water wastage and adjust groundwater use down to match the impacts of climate change
  • supports waterwise capacity building so irrigators, gardeners and landscapers have the knowledge and skills to provide the right advice and waterwise services for households
  • maintains estimates of how many garden bores there are and accounts for how much they collectively abstract, regularly updating estimates as new measurement techniques and information becomes available.

You can help make Perth a waterwise city by watering within the sprinkler rosters and following best-practice installation and garden water use advice.

Discover more

Garden bore regulation

What you can and can’t do with a garden bore

The right advice for garden bores

Learn about local groundwater and your garden bore

Your garden bore questions answered

Find out more about garden bore use and management