The $4.4 million Watering WA rebates scheme has opened for farmers in dryland agricultural areas who want to develop and improve their on-farm water supplies.

WA Water Minister Mia Davies said farmers could now register for the scheme, which officially begins on October 1 2016.

The scheme is part of the recently launched $30 million Royalties for Regions Watering WA initiative.

Ms Davies said, “Under Watering WA, the Department of Water’s existing Farm Water Rebate Scheme has been expanded to farms connected to scheme water, and the maximum value of rebates is increasing from $15,000 to $20,000.

“Farmers not connected to the scheme can continue to apply for funding. Farmers can claim 50 per cent of the cost of water supply plans, up to a maximum value of $500, and a further rebate of up to $250 for any call back visits by an approved water auditor.”

Ms Davies said once the plan was approved by the Department of Water, farmers could apply for rebates of up to 50 per cent of the cost of various infrastructure improvements to dams and catchments, tanks, pipes and pumping systems including solar energy, to a maximum of $20,000.

“This supports the wider Watering WA initiative to make hundreds of millions of litres of water available for community and industry use in agricultural towns and communities, reducing reliance on costly scheme water for non-potable uses,” Ms Davies said.

“More than $36 million has been spent over the past two decades building water capacity on farms not connected to the scheme in dryland agricultural areas.”

WA Regional Development Minister Terry Redman said Royalties for Regions was supporting the development of lower cost climate-resilient water supplies for farming communities through improved on-farm water infrastructure.

Mr Redman said, “This funding supports key improvements such as harvesting of water through improving catchments for dams, new guttering on farm sheds, increased storage of harvested water with new and enlarged dams, and improved on-farm distribution.

“This investment ultimately aims to support long-term growth in regional economies.”

Lauren brings a fresh approach to content. While she’s previously written for publications as diverse as Australian Geographic, The Border Watch and Girlfriend, she’s found her true passion in her current role as an editor in the world of energy and infrastructure trade magazines.

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