HARVEY and Waroona dairy farmers are facing only 40 per cent of their water allocations for the summer despite the good rains over September.
Total inflow into the dams was only 20 gigalitres compared to average irrigation sales of 42 GL.The long-term average sits at 72pc, meaning allocations are significantly down for at least the third year in a row.
The 2011/12 allocation for the Harvey and Waroona was 45pc this time last year and only 34pc the year previous.
Harvey Water development officer Richard Yates said the area had already passed the date for any event to push up the allocation.
He said although the region did experience a wet September, the dry July had already done the damage.
“We had one of the driest Julys in many years,” Mr Yates said.
“The rains in September did help but the problems with the later rainfall is run-off is starting to reduce.
“In June and July run-off is more effective as plants are dormant, but over September everything is starting to grow again and use up that water.”
Harvey Water will be holding it’s auction on November 28 and at this stage there were no plans to hold a follow-up auction in February.
Mr Yates said they were expecting a lot of interest from irrigation farmers in the region but said it was too early to tell how much water would be offered.
He also said it was hard to determine what the price would be for the water.
“We know the most important factors in price at the auction are water allocation and demand,” Mr Yates said.
“It will be interesting with grain prices so high this year maybe creating some demand from farmers.
“But having said that I imagine a lot of farmers will be doing their sums very carefully so they know exactly what they can afford to spend on water.”
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