Protecting Broome’s Water
The first time I came to Broome I was struck by the semi-arid nature of this country, it is literally on the edge of a desert. The Broome township currently uses between 5 and 6 billion litres of water a year. This is figure does not even include the forecast growth in consumption with the development of Broome North which will increase the population of the township by around 65%. At the moment all of the town’s water comes from the Broome Sandstone Aquifer, a precious resource that is now under threat from industrial interests on the Dampier Peninsula.
Woodside are proposing to use 8 billion litres of water from the Broome aquifer each year, at no financial cost. Even if we overlook this gross inequity about who pays to use the Broome aquifer’s water, the risks involved in protecting the health of this aquifer are too great. Earlier this year the W.A. Department of Water itself recognised in its Groundwater Resources Review for the Dampier Peninsula that salinity risk in the Broome aquifer is high in many areas. The message here is clear, if we overuse the aquifer we risk polluting it with saltwater and lose a secure water supply for Broome.
c/o Coconut Wells