- Water deficiency declaration revoked at Gairdner in the Shire of Jerramungup
- 11 water deficiency declarations remain in place
Water Minister Dave Kelly has today revoked the water deficiency declaration in Gairdner in the Shire of Jerramungup, and announced the State Government will continue the remaining 11 water deficiency declarations in the Great Southern and Esperance areas.
Water carting has been temporarily suspended to all declared areas since early August following an improvement in local water availability.
Rainfall between June and August provided some relief for farmers, with runoff increasing on-farm dam supplies and off-farm strategic supplies across the 12 water deficiency declared areas.
Despite this relief, rainfall across the region continues to track below average and is indicative of the continued dry conditions as a result of climate change.
However, the Gairdner area received some significant winter rains, and all farmers registered under the Gairdner water deficiency declaration have indicated most of their on-farm dams are now full and they will have adequate livestock drinking water to see them through next summer.
The McGowan Government has also invested $89,544 in establishing three new bores in the Gairdner area as part of the Dry Season Works Program. These bores will provide reliable emergency back-up water sources for farmers if future off-farm water carting is required.
Gairdner was the 11th water deficiency to be declared in Western Australia since May 2019, as dry conditions continue in the Great Southern agricultural region due to climate change.
Water deficiencies remain in place for the Shires of Ravensthorpe (Mount Short and West River area), Lake Grace (in the Mallee Hill area and Ardler Road area), Kent (Hollands Rock and South Kent), Jerramungup North and Esperance (Grass Patch and Salmon Gums) and Dumbleyung (Kukerin).
Water carting arrangements are managed by the Department of Water and Environmental Regulation (DWER) with support from the Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development and the Water Corporation. In 2019-20, DWER spent $3.36 million carting water to water deficiency declared areas.
Comments attributed to Water Minister Dave Kelly:
"The Great Southern agricultural region is experiencing the impacts of climate change and unprecedented dry conditions following two years of well-below average annual rainfall. While water carting has been temporarily suspended, we continue to have 11 water deficiency declarations in place.
"The situation at all sites is constantly being reviewed, including the storage levels of on-farm dams and strategic off-farm supplies to determine whether to continue the temporary carting suspension.
"While the revocation of the water deficiency declaration to Gairdner is welcome news for locals, farmers across the region continue to be impacted by continued dry conditions as a result of climate change."
Comments attributed to Agriculture and Food Minister Alannah MacTiernan:
"Rainfall in August has improved the seasonal outlook for much of the agricultural area.
"However, soil water reserves remain low in many areas with many farm businesses still reliant on further spring rainfall events.
"While this is a good localised outcome, we recognise a lot more needs to be done to help WA farmers adapt their businesses to the impacts of climate change - and will continue to advocate for more Federal support on this."
Water Minister's office - 6552 6100
Agriculture and Food Minister's office - 6552 6200