The Western Australian Government will spend $21.6 million on water infrastructure as part of Watering WA, a project that aims to secure a more reliable water supply to regional communities.
WA Water Minister Mia Davies and Regional Development Minister Terry Redman launched Watering WA – a $30 million initiative made possible by Royalties for Regions, with an initial focus on more than 60 local government areas from the Mid-West to the Great Southern.
Ms Davies said, “There are three key delivery areas for Watering WA – towns, farms and rural businesses, and regional waterways.
“Under the town component, $21.6 million will be spent on infrastructure in regional communities to harvest, store, treat and distribute stormwater, recycled water and bore water for irrigation and community use.
“This extends the Department of Water’s Community Water Supply Program (through the Rural Water Planning Program), which has funded more than 100 successful community projects in the past 20 years.
“Under Watering WA, grants available to towns and communities will increase by up to $2 million, from the $100,000 grants currently available.”
Ms Davies said $4.4 million would be available for farmers to develop and improve on-farm water supplies, continuing more than $36 million spent in the past two decades building on-farm capacity.
“Farmers will now be able to access grants of up to $20,000 – an increase from the $15,000 currently available under the Farm Water Rebate Scheme, including, for the first time, farmers connected to scheme water,” Ms Davies said.
The third component focuses on rehabilitating the regional waterways of the Avon catchment, with $4 million allocated for a range of on-ground works.
Mr Redman said Watering WA would help regional communities continue to be attractive places to live, work and invest.
“Regional areas support a variety of industries that contribute billions of dollars to the State’s GDP every year. Access to secure, reliable, local non-drinking water sources ensures our regional communities, farms and businesses can continue to grow,” Mr Redman said.