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The Western Australian Government has secured $20 million through the Commonwealth’s National Water Grid Fund Connections funding pathway, with the water infrastructure projects to receive funding including pipeline upgrades and new water recycling systems.

Western Australia Water Minister, Dave Kelly, said the government has advocated for Western Australian farmers for close to 12 months to secure this important funding.

“I’m very pleased to see that the McGowan Government’s lobbying efforts have been successful in securing this $20 million in Commonwealth funding for WA farmers,” Mr Kelly said. 

“By funding these projects, we will increase the water storage capacity of many WA agricultural communities and provide more reliable emergency agricultural and livestock water supplies for farmers to use during periods of dry conditions when on-farm supplies have been depleted.”

Water infrastructure projects that are part of the successful Western Australia Connections package, will include infrastructure and pipeline upgrades to increase water storage capacity and access, as well as the construction of new water recycling systems:

  • $7.3 million program over the next two years to upgrade and refurbish 70 agricultural area dams from the Mid-West through to the Wheatbelt and Great Southern – $3.65 million each from the Western Australia and Commonwealth Governments
  • $3.2 million to continue the Western Australian Government’s Community Water Supply projects in partnership with local governments – $1.6 million each from the Western Australian and Commonwealth Governments (plus contribution from partner LGAs)
  • $9.8 million funding for the Ord Tailwater Return System project, and $1.04 million for the Esperance Small Scale Desalinisation pilot in partnership with other collaborators – $6.12 million commitment from the Western Australian Government and $4.72 million from the Commonwealth Government for these projects
  • $16.5 million for four Water Corporation projects covering dam catchment improvements at three of its dams in the Great Southern, which will free up non-potable supplies for agricultural use, and pipeline improvements between Katanning and Kojonup – $8.95 million commitment from the Western Australian Government and $7.55 million from the Commonwealth Government
  • $4.96 million for the Gascoyne Irrigation Scheme and Modernisation project to equip production bores and upgrade monitoring and control systems to smart metering to allow for horticultural expansion –$2.48 million each from the Western Australian and Commonwealth Governments

These projects are expected to increase resilience and water security in farming communities. 

 Collectively, these benefits will contribute to delivering secure, affordable and reliable water for rural and regional Australia and are expected to deliver:

  • More than 400 jobs during construction and 40 ongoing jobs (with up to 500 additional seasonal jobs)
  • 11.5 gigalitres in additional storage capacity
  • 6,437 megalitres per annum increased water availability
  • 561 hectares of additional irrigable land and up to eight new customers or properties connected to water supply

By developing and increasing the number of non-drinking water sources for regional communities and emergency use, this funding aims to provide a longer-term solution for Western Australian farmers when dealing with the impacts of climate change and will support liveable and climate resilient communities in rural Western Australia.

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