'Unprecedented' seventh water deficiency declared for WA in east Jerramungup, west Ravensthorpe

The state government has begun carting emergency water supplies to additional areas in Jerramungup and Ravensthorpe after an 'unprecedented' seventh water deficiency was declared for the state on February 13.

The deficient area is bounded by Jacup Road North in east Jerramungup and Fitzgerald Road in west Ravensthorpe.

The declaration follows a joint application from the Shires of Jerramungup and Ravensthorpe on behalf of 10 farmers battling relentless dry conditions and depleted water supplies.

Water Minister Dave Kelly said the state government had never seen such a high demand for water carting.

"The Great Southern agricultural region is experiencing extremely dry conditions following two years of well below average annual rainfall linked to climate change," he said.

"This has resulted in an unprecedented concurrent seven water deficiency declarations, well up on the previous record of two water deficiencies, and there is the possibility of more to come."

An estimated 1,800 kilolitres will be carted weekly from Mount Barker, Katanning and Tambellup and delivered to a new 250 kilolitre tank at Fitzgerald in Ravensthorpe.

The Bureau of Meterology's weather radar near Fitzgerald recorded 2018 and 2019 as the region's third and fourth driest years on record.

Mr Kelly said the state was calling on the federal government to support the expansion of projects to improve community water supplies through the new Future Drought Fund.

"The cost of carting water for both public drinking and animal welfare needs is estimated at more than $4 million since January 2019, and could exceed $11 million by the end of June," he said.

This is the seventh water deficiency to be declared in WA since May last year.

Water deficiencies have also been declared in areas in the Shires of Ravensthorpe, Lake Grace, Kent, Jerramungup North and Esperance.

The Department of Water and Environmental Regulation will liaise with local government authorities and farmers in other dry land areas to monitor their on-farm water storage and requirements.

Farmers are encouraged to continue to return their farm water surveys, and local government authorities to consider applying for the Community Water Supply Program.