For its efforts in the Rural Water Plan, originally developed in 1995, the Department of Water Western Australia has been recognised as an ABA100 Winner for Sustainability in The Australian Business Awards 2015.
Western Australia’s Department of Water, A/Director General, Mike Rowe said “the awards were great recognition of the department’s commitment to sustainably managing Western Australia’s water resources and role in supporting regional businesses and communities.”
The plan provides an organised and structured approach to maintaining sustainable farmland water supplies in agricultural areas that have an average rainfall of less than 600mm.
It focuses on encouraging farmers to be self-sufficient when it comes to water supply maintenance, reducing the reliance on piped water services, and inspiring innovative ways in the reserved use of water.
Throughout the last 20 years of the plan’s implementation, adjustments have been made to make sure that it is achieving its original goals. Feedback has also been regularly sought after, shedding positive light on the plan’s success.
Farmers who invest in on-site water supply improvements are eligible for government rebates of up to $15,000, and grants of up to $20,000 are awarded for pastoralists who develop alternate watering points that reduce grazing intensity.
The program has allowed for farmers across the state to see the returns that are available for adopting sustainable water management facilities.