The Western Australian Farmers Federation (Inc.) (WAFarmers) is calling for the expansion of the State Rural Water Program to include farm businesses connected to the Integrated Water Supply Scheme (IWSS).
WAFarmers Water Resources Spokesman, Steve Dilley, said WAFarmers had been a strong supporter of the Department of Water’s Rural Water Planning Program, and its component projects, the Farm Water Supply Planning Scheme (FWSPS) and the Farm Water Rebate Scheme (FWRS).
“WAFarmers frequently encounters farmers who would like to participate in these schemes, but are precluded from doing so, as their businesses are located in Rural Water Zone No 2, the Reticulated Scheme Area,” Mr Dilley said.
“We take the opportunity to again seek the expansion of the FWSPS and the FWRS, given the comparative cost of supplying water to these businesses and the lack of alternative funding opportunities for these businesses.”
Mr Dilley said WAFarmers believed there was justification in investing in improving the on-farm storage capacity of farm businesses in Rural Water Zone No 2.
“By improving storage on farm, it would both relieve the demand on the Water Corporation’s scheme supply and better focus farm managers on their sustainable level of water demand,” he said.
“It seems that there is an opportunity to bring the long established guidelines for these programs more into line with our understanding of Western Australia’s future climatic conditions,” Mr Dilley concluded.
WAFarmers calls on the Department of Water to review its guidelines regarding farms situated in Rural Water Zone No 2, and work towards their inclusion in the package of the FWSPS and FWRS.