The Warren-Donnelly region will benefit from today's official launch of the $3.6 million Southern Forests Water Futures project - as part of the four-year, $40 million Royalties for Regions-funded Water for Food program.
Water Minister Mia Davies and Regional Development Minister Terry Redman today launched the project in Manjimup with local stakeholders.
It builds on previous funding of $6.95 million under the SuperTowns program, which created the Southern Forests Food Council, the group responsible for marketing and expanding the district's agricultural potential.
"We aim to increase local water supply by 12 gigalitres a year using options such as integrated community dams and associated infrastructure," Ms Davies said.
"The project will identify new water supply options and improve current water use efficiency to benefit local growers who currently have little or no water available for expansion.
"By identifying sustainable water and land resources, and developing irrigation technologies, we aim to increase Western Australia's fresh food and animal protein production by at least 50 per cent by 2025 and double by 2050."
Mr Redman said there were 11 Water for Food projects across the State, investigating water resources to support new irrigation opportunities or expand current ones.
"Royalties for Regions is investing heavily in agricultural development opportunities to increase economic stability and create sustainable regional communities," he said.
Agriculture and Food Minister Ken Baston said the State Government's investment in the program showed its commitment to support producers by encouraging capital investment and lifting productivity in WA's agricultural sector.
"This Government is committed to helping farm businesses realise some of the export market demand for our agricultural produce. By further securing water supplies, we give farmers opportunities to grow their business and ultimately their profitability," Mr Baston said.
Information packages outlining the potential development of irrigation precincts will be developed to help attract large-scale third party investment.
Part of the $300 million Seizing the Opportunity in Agriculture initiative
Water for Food futures projects located in the Gascoyne, South-West, Mid-West/Wheatbelt and Kimberley regions
Water Minister's office - 6552 5500
Regional Development Minister's office - 6552 6700
Agriculture and Food Minister's office - 6552 5400