Parched Kukerin gets dam upgrade

Kellie BalaamNarrogin Observer
The Kukerin town stock dam.
Camera IconThe Kukerin town stock dam.

The Kukerin town stock dam has received a $100,000 upgrade as the area enters the fifth month of its official water deficiency.

Kukerin, in the Shire of Dumbleyung, is one of 11 areas in the south of WA declared water deficient since May last year.

All of those deficiencies remain active.

Kukerin gained its new status in February, with water-carting costs reaching $200,000 since then.

A water-deficiency declaration is made by the State Government as a last resort after continued dry conditions have depleted on-farm and local community water supplies.

Water Minister Dave Kelly partnered with the Shire of Dumbleyung in April on a $100,000 upgrade to the town dam.

The catchment upgrades, as well as the installation of two 250kL storage tanks and a new solar pump, would allow the dam to cater for a variety of water-carting capabilities.

The Tarin Rock Siding dam has also been upgraded, with the installation of a tank, solar pump system and standpipe, plus an overall capacity boost from 2500kL to 25,000kL.

A Department of Water and Environmental Regulation spokeswoman said Kukerin had received 90.8mm of rainfall from January 1 to May 30, well short of the average of 396.4mm.

“June is also tracking well below average,” the spokeswoman said.

Eight of WA’s water-deficient areas fall in the Great Southern, which Mr Kelly said was “one of the most impacted places on the planet” for reduced rainfall due to climate change.

“We have never before seen such a high demand for water carting in the State,” he said.

“The Great Southern agricultural region is experiencing extremely dry conditions following two years of well below average annual rainfall.”

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