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Public Drinking Water Source Areas
Responsible agency
Department of Water and Environmental Regulation

Public Drinking Water Source Areas (PDWSAs) include all proposed and proclaimed underground water pollution control areas, catchment areas and water reserves constituted and are used to supply drinking water to the community. 


Drinking water sources are proclaimed under the Metropolitan Water Supply Sewerage and Drainage Act 1909 and Country Areas Water Supply Act 1947 as a water reserve, catchment area or underground water pollution control area.  These Acts provide powers necessary to legally define the boundary of the drinking water source.  They also provide by-laws which allow the state to protect the water quality of these sources.  Public drinking water source area (PDWSA) is a term used to collectively describe these drinking water source areas.

Public drinking water source areas in Western Australia are listed in Water Quality protection note no. 75 called Proclaimed Public Drinking Water Source Areas (2007), available from the department's website at

The Western Australian Planning Commission’s Statement of Planning Policy 2.7 Public Drinking Water Source Policy and other specific statements of planning policies (e.g. SPP 2.3 and SPP 2.2) guide state and local government land use planning decisions in PDWSA, through provisions in the Metropolitan Regional Scheme and local town planning schemes.

Drinking water source protection reports (comprising of drinking waters source assessments, plans and reviews) are prepared by the Department of Water and Environmental Regulation as a key component of implementing the catchment-to-consumer protection strategy recommended in the Australian drinking water guidelines (2011). Drinking Water Source Protection reports (DWSPRs) aim to identify existing and potential risks to a drinking water source, identify the boundary of a PDWSA, priority areas (P1, P2 and P3) and protection zones (reservoir and wellhead protection zones), and provide risk management strategies for the protection of water quality in each PDWSA. DWSPRs are prepared in consultation with affected stakeholders such as the community, landowners, water source provider, local and state government.

The department’s Water quality protection note no. 25 Land use compatibility in public drinking water source areas provides guidance on the types of land uses considered compatible within P1, P2 and P3 areas. This note can be retrieved from  by  selecting Publications > Find a Publication > Series Browse > Water quality protection note.

Copies of relevant drinking water source protection plans and assessments are also available from the department's website at  by  selecting Publications > Find a Publication > Series Browse > Water resource protection plan or Water resource protection assessment.

For more information contact the Water Source Protection Branch, office on (08) 6364 7600 during business hours or email

Date updated
05/07/2017 17:35:59