Water Research Australia factsheet on Bushfires and the Risks to Drinking Water Quality


Water Research Australia (WaterRA) produces regular factsheets on a range of topics that are relevant to the industry, including new results or outcomes from research projects, topics of current interest or general updates about water issues.

The January 2020 factsheet is on an issue critical to water quality, quantity and a range of related ecosystem and liveability issues.

WaterRA research has found that fires in drinking water catchments can directly compromise water quality in the short term and more broadly in the long term. For months and years afterwards, it changes the water balance and catchment landscape.

Rainfall events post-fire can have a significant effect on water quality; from increased rates of erosion, increased sediments and turbidity and the introduction of a range of chemicals and precursors into the water supply.