The Western Australian State Government has announced $11.5 million in funding for groundwater investigations to help expand irrigated agriculture across the state.
The investigations aim to understand groundwater availability and sustainable yields in prospective locations in regional Western Australia.
Western Australian Minister for Agriculture and Food, Mark Lewis, said the funding would include targeted new investigations state-wide, providing key water information to support private sector investment where there was strong development potential.
“These investigations will optimise current water resources and support the development of real opportunities in areas less known for irrigated agriculture,” Mr Lewis said.
Western Australian Minister for Regional Development, Terry Redman, said the Royalties for Regions investment would accelerate water investigations and support the strategic development of agriculture.
“Strengthening the State Government’s understanding of groundwater availability sets the foundation for the long-term development of our regions,” Mr Redman said.
“This project, along with other strategic Royalties for Regions initiatives, is focused on encouraging investment in agricultural development opportunities to increase economic stability and create sustainable regional communities.”
Western Australian Minister for Water, Mia Davies, said the increased funding for groundwater investigation brings the total investment in the Water for Food program to $127.5 million.
“This additional $11.5 million investment in groundwater investigations across the state underlines our commitment to increasing the value of primary industries in Western Australia,” Ms Davies said.
The Water for Food program is part of the $350 million Seizing the Opportunity initiative that is investing into crucial areas of agriculture including market development, science, infrastructure and maximising water for productive use.