Water scarcity impacts growers in southern Western Australia

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In the southern region of Western Australia, the agricultural sector is encountering heavy challenges due to the depletion of a crucial water source. The Glen Mervyn Dam, situated 200 kilometers south of Perth, has seen its water levels decline by over 80% in the past year, now standing at a mere 0.13 gigalitres. This drastic reduction has necessitated a total prohibition on recreational activities such as waterskiing and fishing, alongside posing severe implications for local agricultural practices.

The Preston Valley Irrigation Co-operative, responsible for distributing water from the dam to local growers, has had to minimize water supply to the lowest feasible level. According to James Fearnley, the co-op’s chairman, the dam was only filled to 54% capacity at the onset of the summer, with the excessive heat driving an uptick in irrigation demand. Fearnley highlighted the growing apprehension among growers regarding alternative water sources, noting the co-op’s procurement of water from a private farm to mitigate the shortfall, albeit at elevated costs.

Source: abc.net.au

Photo source: Dreamstime.com

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