The Western Australian Government will provide $420,000 in rebates for on-farm water supply infrastructure to support the state’s dryland farming communities.

Forty-one dryland farms in WA have received a rebate to cover the costs of improving water supplies, as they battle the effects of reduced rainfall due to climate change.

The rebates are for new or upgraded infrastructure such as dams, rainwater capture and storage tanks, solar powered pumps and distribution pipes, and are spread across farms in 32 local government areas from the Mid West to the Great Southern.

Funds are from the Department of Water and Environmental Regulation’s Rural Water Planning program, and all works were approved following on-ground assessments by local farm water auditors.

Under the Farm Water Supply Planning Scheme, farmers can claim up to 50 per cent of the cost of a water supply audit and call-backs up to a maximum value of $750.

Farmers can then apply to the Farm Water Rebate Scheme for up to 50 per cent of the cost of a range of infrastructure improvements to dams and catchments, tanks, pipes and pumping systems including solar energy, identified by the audit, up to a value of $15,000.

Three additional grants of up to $54,678.82 under the Pastoral Water Grants Scheme were approved to support improvements to water supplies on pastoral stations in Yannarie, Mount Magnet and the Upper Gascoyne.

WA Minister for Water, Dave Kelly, said the government understands the impact climate change is having on water supplies in WA, and how this is posing a risk to farming productivity.

“These rebates have already helped several farmers, including two Perenjori farms to increase water storage to help relieve the effects of lower rainfall due to climate change at a time where the area has received less than 200 millimetres of rain this year.

“These are just some of the hundreds of farms that will be supported by the McGowan Government’s $12.75 million commitment to rural water projects in low rainfall areas over the next three years.

“We will continue to support rural projects that tackle the impacts of climate change and help build resilient industries and communities.”

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