Emergency farmland water response planning and water deficiency arrangements

Process for farmers to follow when off-farm emergency water supplies are needed

Emergency farmland water response plans outline the process for farmers to follow when water is needed from off-farm sources.

The plans also highlight the process for the approval of a declaration under the government's water deficiency declaration guidelines.

Water deficiency declarations

A water deficiency declaration is a government response to safeguard the commercial interests of farmers during very dry periods.

A declaration occurs when a group of five or more farmers, within a 20 kilometre radius, require water from an off-farm source and have to travel greater than a 40 kilometre radius from their farm to the source. In extreme circumstances, water may be provided for individual famers.

A declaration requires the government to provide water for livestock needs at a central storage point, within a 40 kilometre radius of the farms concerned.

The process leading to a declaration of 'water deficiency' involves a local government making a formal request to the Department of Water and Environmental Regulation which, after consulting with the Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development, makes a recommendation to the Minister for Water.

Examples of existing emergency farmland water response plans are being developed and will be available on this webpage soon. 

For more information please contact our rural water planning team on 1800 780 300 or ruralwater@dwer.wa.gov.au.

Page reviewed 11 November 2022