Water Minister Mia Davies has opened the $4.4 million Watering WA rebates scheme for farmers in dryland agricultural areas who are looking to develop and improve their on-farm water supplies.
In Dowerin for the annual field days, Ms Davies said farmers could now register for the Liberal National Government scheme, which was a component of the recently launched $30 million Royalties for Regions Watering WA initiative. The scheme officially starts on October 1 2016.
"Under Watering WA, the Department of Water's existing Farm Water Rebate Scheme has been expanded to farms connected to scheme water, and the maximum value of rebates is increasing from $15,000 to $20,000," Ms Davies said.
"Farmers not connected to the scheme can continue to apply for funding. Farmers can claim 50 per cent of the cost of water supply plans, up to a maximum value of $500, and a further rebate of up to $250 for any call back visits by an approved water auditor.
"Once the plan has been approved by the Department of Water, farmers can apply for up to 50 per cent of the cost of a range of infrastructure improvements to dams and catchments, tanks, pipes and pumping systems including solar energy, up to a maximum value of $20,000.
"This supports the wider Watering WA initiative to make hundreds of millions of litres of water available for community and industry use in agricultural towns and communities, reducing reliance on costly scheme water for non-potable uses.
"More than $36 million has been spent over the past two decades building water capacity on farms not connected to the scheme in dryland agricultural areas."
Regional Development Minister Terry Redman said Royalties for Regions was supporting the development of lower cost climate-resilient water supplies for farming communities through improved on-farm water infrastructure.
"This funding supports key improvements such as harvesting of water through improving catchments for dams, new guttering on farm sheds, increased storage of harvested water with new and enlarged dams, and improved on-farm distribution," Mr Redman said.
"This investment ultimately aims to support long-term growth in regional economies."
Water Minister's office - 6552 5500
Regional Development Minister's office - 6552 6700