Water al­lo­ca­tions hinge on reg­u­la­tor’s re­view

Manjimup-Bridgetown Times - - News - Tari Jef­fers

AMID con­cerns about water licence ap­pli­ca­tions for build­ing dams and plan­ning for the South­ern Forests Ir­ri­ga­tion Scheme, the State Gov­ern­ment is up­dat­ing the mod­el­ling for the Don­nelly River catch­ment.

The De­part­ment of Water and En­vi­ron­men­tal Reg­u­la­tion will this month be­gin up­dat­ing Don­nelly River catch­ment flows, which will in the com­ing months lead to up­dated mod­els, the de­vel­op­ment of sce­nario mod­els for ob­jec­tives and al­lo­ca­tions and con­sul­ta­tion with the agri­cul­ture in­dus­try.

De­part­ment South West re­gion man­ager Adam Maskew said the Don­nelly River catch­ment water avail­abil­ity for new li­cences had been tem­po­rar­ily re­duced to al­low more plan­ning of the South­ern Forests Ir­ri­ga­tion Scheme and the water stud­ies on the river.

“The De­part­ment of Water and En­vi­ron­men­tal Reg­u­la­tion in­tends to use the new information from the Water for Food stud­ies in the Don­nelly catch­ment to re­view and po­ten­tially re­vise the al­lo­ca­tion lim­its in the water al­lo­ca­tion plan area,” he said.

“Any al­lo­ca­tion de­ci­sion will con­sider se­cu­rity of sup­ply for ex­ist­ing li­censees and to the South­ern Forests Ir­ri­ga­tion Scheme, while mak­ing ap­pro­pri­ate en­vi­ron­men­tal water pro­vi­sions.

“It will also help us an­swer the ques­tion whether there would be any ad­di­tional water for ad­di­tional self-sup­ply take in the Don­nelly River sub-ar­eas.”

Al­lo­ca­tion lim­its are set by mea­sur­ing how much water is in the sys­tem and how much can be sus­tain­ably used without com­pro­mis­ing the en­vi­ron­ment.

“Cli­mate vari­abil­ity and cli­mate change are also im­por­tant con­sid­er­a­tions in set­ting sus­tain­able lim­its,” Mr Maskew said.

Fol­low­ing the com­ple­tion of the water stud­ies, the an­nounce­ment for an up­date to water avail­abil­ity will hap­pen in Septem­ber.

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