The Western Australian Government is helping regional communities adapt to climate change by partnering with a further nine local governments on community water supply projects.

The Western Australian Government has invested an additional $915,902 in funding through the Community Water Supply Program in 2020-21, assisting the nine local governments to deliver ten projects that will improve their emergency community water capacity and reduce their future use of scheme water. 

The shires of Merredin, Mukinbudin, Wyalkatchem (two projects), Chapman Valley, Toodyay, Jerramungup, Plantagenet, Gnowangerup and Lake Grace have all received grants to undertake works, including improving the stormwater reuse network, new pump, pipe and tank facilities and the realignment of catchment channels.

The Western Australian Government’s Community Water Supply Program operates in dryland agricultural areas of the state that receive less than 600mm annual rainfall and are vulnerable to water shortages. 

The program, which has already funded over $541,512 for seven regional projects, provides a maximum of $100,000 per project for local government and community groups to develop off-farm community water supplies.

This funding supports the development of new water catchments and dams, improvements to existing surface water catchments and storage dams, tank installation and development of groundwater resources to provide sustainable, fit-for-purpose water supplies which are made available to local communities, especially during dry seasons. 

Western Australian Water Minister, Dave Kelly, said, “The McGowan Government is committed to supporting farming communities impacted by climate change. That is why we established the Community Water Supply Program – to provide more water, more efficiently to more regional communities.

“This strategic investment supports the development of emergency community water supplies in areas that are vulnerable to water shortages.

“The design for many of these projects is aimed at taking full advantage of stormwater runoff, including from extreme summer rainfall events predicted as a result of climate change.

“These projects will harvest this water and use it to increase water supply security for dryland towns and communities. This will also provide an alternative water source for emergency livestock and community use, reducing the demand on valuable town scheme water supplies at standpipes.”

Agricultural Region MLC, Darren West, said, “Reliable water supply has become a greater challenge across the agricultural region in a drying climate.

“I thank the Minister for his acknowledgement of this issue and his investment to help resolve this.

“I am proud to be a member of the McGowan Government that is making a record investment in regional infrastructure in WA.”

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