Type of entity
Legal Status Text
Authorized form of name
Other form(s) of name
Dates of existence
Following the election of a Labor government to office in October 1911, legislation was introduced to amalgamate the various water supplies throughout the State. The new Department assumed responsibilities for the following activities on 1 August 1912:
- the Goldfields Water Supply undertaking;
- the Metropolitan Water Supply, Sewerage and Drainage undertaking;
- Agricultural and Country Town water supplies, Irrigation and drainage, artesian boring;
- water supplies, stock routes in Mining Districts.
(North West water supplies continued to be managed by the Engineer for the North West in the Public Works Department)
The Under-Secretary of the Department was H.C. Trethowan and the two joint engineering heads were Hugh Oldham for Metropolitan and Agricultural areas and P.V. O'Brien for Goldfields and Northern Areas.
During the life of the Department, projects of major importance included the overhaul of the Coolgardie water supply pipeline and the beginning of the irrigation scheme at Harvey.
In 1914 the Metropolitan region was expanded to include Armadale, Guildford and Midland. During that year Perth, Fremantle and Claremont were consolidated into a central district. During 1916 and 1917 local councillors and Liberal politicians pressured the Government to reinstate Board control for the Metropolitan concerns. Between April and June 1918, the latter's functions were split administratively from the rest of the Department. Both organisations remained part of the same Department until 1921. In that year the MWSS & DD was established and the Public Works Department assumed formal control of the country operations.