Water catchment access

Water catchments are one source of Perth’s current drinking water supply. They also encompass the major portion of forested areas close to Perth and affect access for many traditional bushwalking areas. DWER’s Operational Policy 13  is intended to protect drinking water quality and public health by managing recreation in public drinking water source areas on Crown land.

HikeWest has advocated strongly over many years on the various water catchment access issues. In 2007, the regulator planned to ban all traditional off-track bushwalking in the catchments; Such a ban if implemented would have had a devastating impact on the activities of several of our Member Clubs and other bushwalkers in the Perth region. Thanks to the sustained lobbying of HikeWest and others, off-track walking is today officially recognised as a legitimate recreational activity within the outer catchments.

Drinking water catchments overlapping with Perth Metropolitan Region

The impacts of the latest (June 2019) version of Policy 13 on bushwalking in the water catchments within 100km of Perth include:

Additional information

Various HikeWest historic papers/submissions on water catchment issues:


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