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Parliamentary Questions

Question On Notice No. 5250 asked in the Legislative Assembly on 20 June 2019 by Mr D.T. Redman

Question Directed to the: Minister for Water; Fisheries; Forestry; Innovation and ICT; Science
Minister responding: Hon D.J. Kelly
Parliament: 40 Session: 1

I refer to water license allocations in the Warren Donnelly region, and ask:
(a) Can the Minister confirm that the water license allocation proposed for the Southern Forests Irrigation Scheme does not come from catchments or systems that are in competition with other farmers or existing water users seeking water licenses from the Manjimup Brook/Yanmah-Dixvale and the Middle Donnelly sub-catchments;
(b) Why were the water allocation limits for the Middle Donnelly reduced from the original allocation prior to the moratorium being put in place;
(c) Are either of the systems Manjimup Brook/Yanmah-Dixvale or the Middle Donnelly sub-catchments overallocated;
(d) How many applications for water licenses are there presently in the Manjimup Brook/Yanmah-Dixvale sub-catchment and the Middle Donnelly sub-catchment; and
(e) Are the environmental flows set for these two sub-catchments fixed or is there scope to have this reviewed?

Answered on 3 September 2019

(a) I can confirm that the water allocation proposed for the Southern Forests Irrigation Scheme is not sourced from Manjimup Brook/Yanmah-Dixvale sub-catchments as they have been fully allocated since 2010 (with no change to the allocation limits for these sub-catchments since the release of the water allocation plan in 2012).

Water to supply the scheme will come from the forested areas in the Middle and Upper Donnelly sub-catchments and will not affect existing water users in those sub-catchments.

(b) No change to allocation limits for the Middle Donnelly sub-catchment was made prior to the moratorium being put in place.

(c) The Manjimup Brook/Yanmah-Dixvale sub-catchment has been over-allocated since 2012. The Middle Donnelly became slightly over-allocated in early 2019 to enable the full volume of a farmer's licence application to be granted.

(d) There are no general purposes water licence applications pending in the Manjimup Brook/Yanmah-Dixvale sub-catchment. The Middle Donnelly sub-catchment has one new application and one licence renewal pending.

(e) The environmental flows for both sub-catchments were set in the 2012 surface water allocation plan. A review of environmental flows was conducted for the Middle Donnelly sub-catchment in 2018 and resulted in some minor adjustments to environmental flows. No further reviews are proposed.