The West

Manjimup running out of water
Newton Brothers Orchards owner Harvey Giblett and three-year-old granddaughter Sacha Goode in their Manjimup garden. Picture: Tom Edwards

The South West town of Manjimup is at risk of running dry after months of low rainfall depleted its dams and forced the State Government to cart in water.

The town is supplied by two dams, both of which are down to about 28 per cent of capacity.

It has prompted Water Minister Bill Marmion to announce tough new measures, including severe water restrictions and more water to be carted in, to try to secure a steady supply for the town before it is connected by pipeline to the Bridgetown system next year.

Newtown Brothers Orchards owner Harvey Giblett, Manjimup's biggest apple grower, said the situation was becoming desperate.

"Our dams are running at less than a third of capacity and we're already pumping water from 6km away," Mr Giblett said.

"At this stage we don't have enough water for our crops this summer. We might have to purchase water from our neighbours just to survive."

Stage-six water restrictions, which include full sprinkler bans, will apply from September 1 in the hope of saving more than 20 million litres throughout spring.

Mr Marmion said water carting from Pemberton was expected to begin within the next few weeks.

The Water Corporation was working with the Department of Water and private dam owners to identify water sources.

Mr Giblett urged the Government to take action to avoid a catastrophic water crisis.

"I don't think people realise how serious the situation is and how disastrous the consequences are for the entire State, not just Manjimup," he said.

"We need to start building serious infrastructure right away for the sake of future generations.

"The cost will be high, but the price will be far dearer if we don't act now."

The West Australian

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