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Water is supplied via a gravity fed pipe and channel system, using some 2,000 individual supply points, sourcing water from seven dams along the Darling Scarp from Waroona in the north to Wellington Dam near Collie in the south. The system spans over 112,000 hectares, with more than 450km of pipelines and 250km of channels. The water supplied is non-potable, or not suitable for household drinking and consumption. It is however, ideal for providing prime dairy and beef cattle grazing pastures, horticultural irrigation and water for industrial use. The regional economic benefits are enormous, with an estimated $100M in gross value-added production from agriculture/horticulture from the water supplied.
The Harvey and Waroona districts are piped, allowing 24 hour/day access to water under gravity pressure suitable for operating sprinklers. The aim is to convert the remaining 40% of the system, which is a mix of soil and concrete lined channels to pipes.
The Harvey Water Irrigation Area is relatively unique among Australian schemes because it is entirely gravity fed. This is possible because:
- the water is sourced from a large number of dams relative to the area served
- the land area served is narrow compared to its length
- there are relatively steep grades across the width
Because the scheme cannot supply all properties at once, a daily allocation system is used to meet individual customer's needs while maximising the efficiency of the distribution system and minimising water wastage.
The irrigation season runs from October to April, the precise dates depending on the weather. Water is released to Harvey Water from seven Darling Scarp dams controlled and maintained by the Water Corporation. A water storage fee is paid to the Water Corporation based on the amount of water released, which is measured at five delivery points. Harvey Water also has rights to water under its 3 licences, so does not buy water from the Water Corporation.
Irrigators are shareholders in the co-operatives and pay fees related to the storage and delivery assets plus a water delivery charge. They do not pay for water as such.
For more information contact our office on (08) 9729 0100 or see www.harveywater.com.au.