- Recent rainfall has replenished local water supplies at Salmon Gums and Grass Patch in the Shire of Esperance
- Two water deficiency declarations in the Shire of Esperance are now revoked
- The McGowan Government has invested $13.3 million to improve community water supplies and assist farmers and shires with managing the impacts of climate change on water security
Recent rainfall has boosted on-farm water supplies for farming communities in Salmon Gums and Grass Patch in the Shire of Esperance.
Improved water availability has allowed for the revocation of two water deficiency declarations in these areas from today July 21, 2022.
Water deficiency declarations are issued by the State Government to allow for emergency water carting to farmers to address livestock water needs during very dry periods.
Despite receiving above average rainfall over winter 2021, both Salmon Gums and Grass Patch received less than 70 millimetres of rainfall between September 2021 and March 2022.
Hot windy conditions over summer also contributed to water loss from on-farm dams which resulted in water shortages. This situation led to both areas being declared water deficient in March 2022.
Thanks to above average rainfall at both locations since April this year, all farmers in Salmon Gums and Grass Patch now have sufficient water in their on-farm dams for their livestock. The water deficiency declarations for both sites have now been revoked and water carting to these locations is no longer required.
Since May 2019, more than $3.9 million has been spent by the McGowan Government on direct water carting to water deficient areas to support emergency livestock needs.
A further $2.64 million has been spent on developing and upgrading 113 strategic community water supplies and government-owned water sources since June 2018, and another $1.5 million for partnerships with local government to upgrade and develop local community water supplies.
In November 2021, the McGowan Government announced an additional $10.5 million in funding over the next two years for projects to help secure additional off-farm non-potable water supplies for agricultural communities, including the upgrade and refurbishment of 70 agricultural area dams from the Mid-West through to the Wheatbelt and Great Southern.
The Department of Water and Environmental Regulation will continue to liaise with local farmers and Shires and monitor the water supply situation across Western Australia's dryland agricultural areas.
Comments attributed to Water Minister Dave Kelly:
"The Department of Water and Environmental Regulation has undertaken an assessment of the two water deficiency declaration areas in the Shire of Esperance and has recommended their revocation.
"I am pleased that there has been above average rainfall in Salmon Gums and Grass Patch, which has now resulted in adequate on-farm water supplies to assist with livestock water needs.
"The McGowan Government continues to prioritise water security across the State in response to climate change and is seeking to expand off-farm strategic community water supplies across dryland agricultural regions.
"I'd also like to acknowledge the efforts of the Shire of Esperance who have been working hard to bolster their community water supplies."
Comments attributed to Agricultural Region MLC Shelley Payne:
"The recent above average rainfall in Grass Patch and Salmon Gums is great news for our community, especially for our farmers.
"This means water carting to these areas is no longer required as farms now have adequate water supply for their livestock.
"The Shire of Esperance has been a crucial partner in supporting our farmers with water supplies during dry periods. I thank them for their work in monitoring water supply and delivering emergency water to the Grass Patch and Salmon Gums communities."
Minister's office - 6552 6100