Farmers urged to be water-wise

Countryman
Kellerberrin farmer and Shire president Rod Forsyth has welcomed changes to extend the Farm Water Rebate Scheme.
Camera IconKellerberrin farmer and Shire president Rod Forsyth has welcomed changes to extend the Farm Water Rebate Scheme. Credit: Countryman

Farmers in the Wheatbelt are being encouraged to store more water on their farms.

The State Government has launched a $30 million initiative, which will help landholders build or expand their dams, install rainwater tanks and invest in solar pumps.

The move was welcomed by Kellerberrin farmer and Shire president Rod Forsyth.

He said extending the Department of Water’s Farm Water Rebate Scheme and the Community Water Supply Program would encourage less reliance on scheme water.

“Many farmers have the ability to store water, either for stock using dams, or rainwater tanks for broad acre spraying,” he said.

“Landholders will have more of an incentive to do this with the help of these rebates, which have now been increased from $15,000 to $20,000.

“We’ll certainly be investigating if we are eligible for this type of support.

“Installing a rainwater tank off a machinery shed can help cut the use of expensive drinking water, being used for spraying.”

According to the Natural resource management group Wheatbelt NRM, the changes had also made landholders connected to scheme water eligible.

Chief executive Natarsha Woods said the $30 million announcement went beyond the farming community.

“This funding will go towards helping town’s build more efficient storage systems, capture storm water run-off and improve infrastructure,” she said.

“All these strategies help reduce the reliance on scheme water.”

Farmers will be able to find out if they can access the rebate after an on-property assessment from the Department of Water.

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