Agriculture

The last resort for WA farmers

A water shortage plan has been activated in the shire of Ravensthorpe as a last resort for farmers.

Lack of rainfall: Bureau of Meteorology

Water Minister Dave Kelly said the Department of Water and Environmental Regulation would start carting water to the Mount Short region in Ravensthorpe on Wednesday.

The Minister’s spokeswoman said the water would be carted from various dams.

“Water will initially be carted from both Varley and Mt Madden dam, and shortly thereafter from Lake King dam, to a 250kl tank located at Mount Short dam” she said.

This declaration of a water shortage follows the Lake Grace deficiency last month.

“Climate change has contributed to low winter rainfall and no follow up summer rainfall,” Mr Kelly said.

Western Australian Farmers Federation president Rhys Turton said the Water Corporation’s infrastructure and maintenance program has let farmers down.

“When residents went to use the Water Corporation’s resources they were finding they were not up to standard and maintenance on them had not been kept up,” he said.

“There was a severe water shortage and people had to cut water for stock and domestic purposes.

“Some people are carting distances of up to 100km a round trip.”

Agriculture and Food Minister Alannah MacTiernan said the government had been monitoring the situation.

“We have been closely monitoring the rainfall conditions affecting the Ravensthorpe farmers,” she said.