Water crisis spreads across Great Southern as seventh water deficiency declared

Great Southern Herald
Camera IconJerramungup. Credit: Laurie Benson Albany Advertiser

A seventh water deficiency has been declared in the south of WA after an application on behalf of 10 farmers in the Shires of Jerramungup and Ravensthorpe.

Water Minister Dave Kelly today declared a water deficiency for the adjoining western section of Jerramungup and eastern section of Ravensthorpe.

The area is bound by Jacup Road North in Jerramungup and Fitzgerald Road in Ravensthorpe.

The declaration will see the State Government cart an estimated 1800KL of water each week from Mt Barker, Katanning and Tambellup.

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Water will be delivered to a new 250KL capacity tank at Fitzgerald in Ravensthorpe, reducing the distance farmers need to travel to source emergency livestock water.

It is the seventh water deficiency to be declared in WA since May 2019.

A declaration is made as a last resort after continued dry conditions have depleted on-farm and local community water supplies.

“The Great Southern agricultural region is experiencing extremely dry conditions following two years of well below average annual rainfall linked to climate change,” Mr Kelly said.

“This has resulted in an unprecedented concurrent seven water deficiency declarations, well up on the previous record of two water deficiencies, and there is the possibility of more to come.

“We have never before seen such a high demand for water carting in the State.

“The cost of carting water for both public drinking and animal welfare needs is estimated at more than $4 million since January 2019, and could exceed $11 million by the end of June.”

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