MEDIA RELEASE – Water for Food project helping to grow the region's agriculture
Local producers are being given a unique opportunity to be a part of the 'Southern Forests Irrigation Scheme', which if implemented, will consist of an irrigation network that will transport water, via a series of pipes and pump stations, throughout the region. The Scheme is one of 11 projects being rolled out across regional WA under the State Government's $40 million 'Water for Food' program, made possible by Royalties for Regions.
"For this initiative to be successful, it is critical that people participate in the process now," said Shire President Wade DeCampo. "The potential is there for farmers to expand their existing operations or even diversify. It is also encouraging for prospective producers, who may not have the footprint to build a dam or have any means of accessing a water supply for irrigation," he explained. "Water is a valuable resource in today's drying climate and a water entitlement in the scheme will be a tradeable asset, with water being able to be bought and sold. The scheme will also add value to land that currently doesn't have access to water for irrigation."
The Department of Water are currently undertaking a detailed investigation into the feasibility of the new scheme, which involves assessing the current supplies of water, demand for water and the location of both.
Landowners within the district are being encouraged to register their interest in the project with a letter of intent, indicating where there is a necessity for water to irrigate. This will form the basis of a preliminary scheme design and an initial estimate of capital and operating expenditure that is required.
"It is quite simple – to progress this project we need interest and participation," said Cr DeCampo. "The letters of intent will essentially be transposed onto a map detailing demand volumes and locations, which will enable the department of water to plot the preferred option and most cost-efficient pipeline routes and locations of pump stations."
A field day and workshop has been scheduled for 4pm on Thursday 17 March at the Newtons Orchards shed on Starkies Road in Manjimup. The intent of the workshop is to explore the operational facets of this type of scheme and how ready access to reliable high quality irrigation water could benefit the farming businesses within the region. All who are interested are encouraged to attend – no RSVP is required.
Letters of intent need to be submitted to the Department of Water by 31 March 2016. For a registration pack, contact email@example.com. For a consultation about your individual requirements or to lodge your letter of intent, please contact Sam Taylor on 0429 332 593 or Dan Parnell on 0467 556 542.
Click here to view a media release from the Hon Terry Redman MLA and the Hon. Mia Davies MLA.
Click here to view the Water for Food website.
Authorised by Andrew Campbell, Chief Executive Officer
Contact Gina Nieuwendyk, Coordinator Communication and Executive Support
Contact: 9771 7777
Contact for comment: Wade DeCampo, Shire President.
Contact: 0427 094 081