Strategic community water supply plans and water deficiency arrangements

Process for farmers to follow when off-farm emergency water supplies are needed.
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Strategic community water supply plans 

Our Rural water planning team has developed a network of strategic community water supply sites across the dryland agricultural areas of regional Western Australia to provide an important source of non-potable water for farming and firefighting needs. Corresponding strategic community water supply plans (SCWS plans) have also been developed.

The strategic community water supply plans provide information for shires and farmers on the locations of SCWS sites and how to access the non-potable water for emergency stock watering and firefighting purposes. The plans also include other facilities or water supplies available at each site. The SCWS site supplies are for emergency use in times when low rainfall causes on-farm supplies to become depleted and farmers need to travel to access water for livestock and essential farming purposes.

You can download strategic community water supply plans and detailed maps of each site from the Management of strategic community water supplies webpage.

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.

For more information please contact our rural water planning team on 1800 780 300 or