Doppler radars to boost regional weather coverage
Royalties for Regions invested $23 million for construction of radars
Improves weather information for farmers, emergency services and communities
Construction has begun on the first of three Doppler radars to boost weather information for farm businesses and regional communities across the Wheatbelt.
Agriculture and Food Minister Dean Nalder said once operational, the Newdegate radar would provide real-time weather information at a range of up to 200 kilometres.
"It will give farm businesses timely information on rainfall and wind speed and direction - all critical data for farmers to make more informed decisions on sowing, fertiliser and chemical applications," Mr Nalder said.
"The research behind this project has estimated that, based on more timely spray applications alone, radars could produce a return of more than $6 for every $1 invested."
Doppler radars will also be installed at South Doodlakine and in Watheroo, near Marchagee, with all three expected to be operational by mid-2017.
Regional Development Minister Terry Redman said the program was a $23 million commitment by the State Government's Royalties for Regions program to transform Western Australian farm businesses.
"These radars will make a real difference to farming businesses while providing relevant information for emergency services providers by offering weather observations at a local level," Mr Redman said.
"The Doppler radars will fill gaps in radar coverage and also provide underlying data to help insurance providers to develop new insurance products."
Esperance-based Sime Building and Construction will undertake site works construction and the Bureau of Meteorology will install and maintain the Doppler radars. Once the radars have been installed and commissioned, the bureau will undertake data quality evaluation.
The Newdegate radar is expected to be operational by October 2016.
The radars will build on the Department of Agriculture and Food WA's extended network of 149 automated weather stations
The Doppler Radar Project is funded by the State Government's Royalties for Regions program
Agriculture and Food Minister's office - 6552 6400
Regional Development Minister's office - 6552 6700