Plan release information
The Warren–Donnelly surface water allocation plan was released in April 2012.
Supporting documents for the plan are also available:
- Warren–Donnelly surface water allocation plan: Statement of response
- Warren–Donnelly surface water allocation plan: Methods report
The statement of response summarises our response to comments and questions we received on the Warren–Donnelly surface water allocation plan: draft for public comment, released in 2010.
We use this plan to maintain a reliable supply to water users and the environment. It details how we will allocate and manage water resources and will monitor, measure and evaluate the plan's objectives.
We regularly evaluate how the objectives of the plan are being met. You can view the Warren–Donnelly surface water allocation plan: Evaluation statement 2012–2016 which summarises how we have implemented the plan since it's release in 2012.
The Donnelly River allocation statement was released in December 2018. This followed an assessment of water allocation limits for the Donnelly River to determine water availability for an irrigation scheme while continuing to maintain water for environmental flows and existing self-supply water use. Allocation limits for the Middle Donnelly, Upper Donnelly and Record Brook subareas were adjusted.
In 2023, we released the Warren-Donnelly surface water allocation plan: 2023 evaluation statement and future planning. This document details the finding that the current plan is still effective to support the region’s horticultural industry and natural environments. However, under a drying climate, the water available for the environment and water users is expected to reduce. This presents both a challenge and an opportunity for water users to explore options to increase water resilience.
The new Warren-Donnelly surface water allocation plan will be informed by consultation with the community, including Traditional Owner knowledge, and by contemporary science, including the latest climate change projections and recent streamflow monitoring. Updates on the progress of the plan will be made in consultation with the Warren Donnelly Water Advisory Committee.
Water allocation planning in the Warren–Donnelly
We began work on the Warren–Donnelly surface water allocation plan in 2008 after a study indicated that some rivers may be fully allocated or over-allocated. This highlighted that individual licence assessments were no longer enough to manage water use effectively at a subarea level and allocation limits needed to be introduced.
The plan contains:
- the total amount of water that is available to be licensed
- water resource objectives and desired outcomes
- the policies that will be applied as part of the department's licence decisions
- the department's approach to managing water in the Warren–Donnelly area.
The plan introduced allocation limits and, for the first time, formalised how we will manage and allocate surface water in the area. The new allocation limits explain how much surface water is available in each surface water resource and replaces previous limits.
In 2018 we assessed water allocation limits for the Donnelly River to determine water availability for an irrigation scheme while continuing to maintain water for environmental flows and current self-supply water use. The proposed Southern Forest Irrigation Scheme aims to provide additional water in fully allocated areas of the Warren and Donnelly region.
As a result of the assessment:
- most of the water allocation limits remain unchanged from those in the department’s Warren–Donnelly surface water allocation plan (2012)
- only three subareas upstream of the proposed scheme were adjusted – Middle Donnelly, Upper Donnelly and Record Brook
- the new water allocation limits apply from 18 December 2018.
The new allocation limits and how we undertook the assessment are explained in the Donnelly River allocation statement.
The Warren–Donnelly plan area is in the south-west of Western Australia. It includes the Warren and Donnelly River basins, which cover an area of almost 6,100 km2, as well as the townships of Manjimup and Pemberton.
The plan area covers the Donnelly River System and Warren River and tributaries surface water areas.
The rivers in the area are the Warren River and its tributaries, including Tone, Perup, Yerraminup, and Wilgarup rivers and Lefroy Brook, as well as the Donnelly River and its tributaries, including Barlee Brook.
For management purposes, the plan area is divided into 25 surface water resources (identified on the map), which are based on hydrological catchment boundaries.
For allocation planning and licensing, the department refers to surface water resources instead of referring to the major river or stream that drains the resource unit.
Warren–Donnelly Advisory Committee
Created in 1963, Warren–Donnelly Advisory Committee is appointed under section 109 of the Water Agencies (Powers) Act 1984 to provide advice to the department on surface water management in the Warren and Donnelly River catchments.
The committee is made up of six community representatives, local government, the Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development, Warren Catchments Council and our department.
The committee is an important conduit of information and stakeholder engagement between our department, the Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development, the local community and industry sectors.
Current committee members are:
- Ms Diane Fry (Community representative)
- Mr John Omodei (Community representative)
- Mr William Rice (Community representative)
- Ms Donelle Buegge (Community representative)
- Ms Lyn Daubney (Community representative)
- Ms Alexandra Rey (Community representative)
- Mr Julian Sharp (Warren Catchments Council)
- Mr Kim Skoss (Shire of Manjimup)
- Mr Neil Guise (Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development)
- Mr Simon Taylor – Chair (Department of Water and Environmental Regulation)
- Mr Adam Maskew (Department of Water and Environmental Regulation)
We provide secretariat support for the committee. The term for all community members expires on 24 June 2024.
You can view the committee’s terms of reference.
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