Water Minister Mia Davies and Regional Development Minister Terry Redman have officially launched the $3.6 million Southern Forests Water Futures project in Manjimup as part of the $40 million Royalties for Regions’ Water for Food program.
In a statement, Minister Davies said the project builds on previous funding of $6.95 million under the SuperTowns program which created the Southern Forests Food Council, the group responsible for marketing and expanding the district’s agricultural potential.
“We aim to increase local water supply by 12 gig litres a year using options such as integrated community dams and associated infrastructure. The project will identify new water supply options and improve current water use efficiency to benefit local growers who currently have little or no water available for expansion,” Ms Davies said.
“By identifying sustainable water and land resources, and developing irrigation technologies, we aim to increase Western Australia’s fresh food and animal protein production by at least 50 per cent by 2025 and double by 2050.”
Mr Redman said there were 11 Water for Food projects across the State aimed at investigating water resources to support new irrigation opportunities or expand current ones.
“Royalties for Regions is investing heavily in agricultural development opportunities to increase economic stability and create sustainable regional communities,” he said.
With this investment, the Government is supporting producers by encouraging capital investment and lifting productivity in the state’s agricultural sector.
“This Government is committed to helping farm businesses realise some of the export market demand for our agricultural produce. By further securing water supplies, we give farmers opportunities to grow their business and ultimately their profitability,” said Agriculture and Food Minister Ken Baston.
For more information, visit http://www.water.wa.gov.au