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The Western Australian Government has announced the extension of its Community Water Supplies Partnership (CWSP) program that provides funding for pumps, water tanks and other water infrastructure in drought-impacted communities.

Extended to the South West and Great Southern, the program aims to help more communities manage the impacts of the recent drought conditions.

The $1.5 million expansion is part of the Western Australian Government’s $8.6 million support package for agricultural industries impacted by drought, including measures such as hardship grants and interest-free loans.

The expansion will enable local governments and community groups in the South West and Great Southern to apply for grants of up to $100,000 to contribute to new water security projects.

Previously, CWSP program grants were only available in dryland agricultural areas receiving fewer than 600mm in average annual rainfall.

Eligible water infrastructure works that can be considered under the CWSP program include:

  • Water tanks
  • Pumps, power sources, pipes and associated distribution systems
  • Dam and catchment construction and or maintenance
  • Standpipe and swipe cards infrastructure
  • Drilling of new bores
  • Support for water carting equipment

The launch of the expanded scheme coincides with the announcement that seven projects in rural Western Australian communities will receive a total of $409,034 in funding for new water security projects.

The Shire of Chittering will receive funding for two projects, including $69,241 to install two 100kL water tanks, a solar power array, submersible pump, pipe work and one output pump and shed for each tank, utilising an existing bore.

The shire has been approved to receive $52,001 to install solar powered equipment and a pontoon mounted submersible pump at an existing soak site.

The Shire of Dandaragan will receive $66,900 in funding to provide a supply of irrigation water to its Jurien Bay public open space areas and to help reduce salinity in current water sources.

The Shire of Esperance will receive $100,000 to upgrade the community water supply tanks in the Condingup townsite, while the Shire of Williams is receiving $17,735 to install a 110kL water tank which will provide a source of non-potable water for community use.

The Shire of Victoria Plains has been approved to receive $67,290, which is expected to allow them to put in place a Strategic Water Plan.

The Shire of Yalgoo will receive $35,867 to install a solar pump and tank infrastructure to provide local volunteer firefighters with an easy access water source.

The Community Water Supplies Partnership program is jointly funded by the Western Australian Government and through the Commonwealth Government’s National Water Grid Connections Funding Program.

Western Australian Water Minister, Simone McGurk, said, “The Community Water Supplies Partnership program has already provided more than $4.3 million in funding to help local communities develop climate resilient community water supplies, and has achieved some fantastic results.

“The Western Australian Government’s $1.5 million boost to extend the program will help even more communities across the state adapt to changing rainfall patterns, helping them establish water security projects that conserve our most precious resource.

“I congratulate the six local governments who will benefit from this latest round of funding, and I urge other local government areas in the expanded program to apply.”

Western Australian Minister for Agriculture and Food, Jackie Jarvis, said, “We know these recent hot, dry conditions are unlike anything communities in the South West and Great Southern have experienced before.

“That’s why we’re extending the Community Water Supplies Partnership program to those communities, so they can apply for up to $100,000 per project to develop off-farm community water supplies.

“As you can see from this recent round of projects, local governments are working alongside our government to improve regional water infrastructure that benefits the whole community.”

Western Australian Agricultural Region MLC, Darren West, said, “These projects allow regional communities to protect and further enhance their water supply and ultimately plan for a future where water is integral to how they live.

“The funding allows our regional communities to continue to thrive in knowing they have boosted community water security, and I congratulate the latest recipients.”

Image credit: bit mechanic/Shutterstock.com.

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