Hon Dave Kelly BA MLA

Hon Dave Kelly BA MLA

Minister for Water; Forestry; Youth

    Water audits to help WA farmers plan future on-farm water security

    25/02/2022 11:00 AM
    • Record grain harvest presents ideal opportunity for farmers to invest in on-farm water security
    • On-farm water audits help WA farmers plan for long-term water security challenges caused by climate change
    • WA farmers in dryland agricultural areas can apply for funding of up to $1,000 towards water audit cost

    Western Australian grain growers are being encouraged to make the most of this year's record 24 million tonne harvest by participating in the McGowan Government's Farm Water Supply Planning Scheme and carrying out a water audit to help improve on-farm water security.


    Many communities in the State's dryland agricultural regions have experienced significantly reduced rainfall as a result of climate change, which has seriously impacted non-potable water supplies in these areas.


    Through the scheme, commercial broadacre farmers can apply for a rebate of up to $1,000 to fund an audit of their on-farm water supply.


    The audit process provides farmers with a recognised water conservation and management plan, and a robust framework to base water resource management decisions for their farms.


    Information on current on-farm water supplies is collected as part of the audit to determine if water demands for livestock and spray cropping needs are being met.


    The audit also identifies work the applicant can undertake to improve and increase on-farm water supplies such as enlargement of dams, upgraded catchments or the construction of new water supplies - including the estimated costs of water infrastructure which can be used by farmers in their annual budgeting to build and develop priority water supply improvements.


    Information about the scheme and a list of farm water auditors is available by visiting the Department of Water and Environmental Regulation website at https://www.water.wa.gov.au/planning-for-the-future/rural-water-support/farm-water-supply-planning-scheme or by contacting the Department's Rural Water Planning office on 1800 780 300.


    The McGowan Government has already invested $4 million in delivering 108 off-farm community water supply projects in the State's dryland agricultural regions since 2018 and has committed a further $5.25 million to future water supply projects over the next two years.


    Comments attributed to Water Minister Dave Kelly:


    "Climate change is creating long-term water security challenges for farmers and by undertaking on-farm water planning, farmers will be better prepared for dry periods.


    "While the State Government continues to invest in off-farm supplies, now is the ideal time for farmers to invest in their on-farm supplies.


    "For $1,000, a water audit can help deliver a blueprint for future on-farm water security for farmers.


    "I would encourage any eligible farmer to take this opportunity and make the most of the rebate available."


    Minister's office - 6552 6100