Southern Forests Irrigation Scheme - the way forward

Page last updated: Wednesday, 18 May 2022 - 9:22am

Please note: This content may be out of date and is currently under review.

The WA Government is committed to the Manjimup-Pemberton community and agricultural businesses that are the backbone of its local economy and wishes to put in place the necessary infrastructure that protects the environment and the community.

The SFIS was intended to address community concerns on climate change by harnessing limited water resources to tackle the challenges that climate change will bring about to our environment, business and community.

Latest Update 

CSIRO report

The Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development (DPIRD) commissioned CSIRO to undertake a review of the water modelling of the Donnelly River and associated sub-catchment area. CSIRO has provided the updated model. The report highlighted a number of concerns with the previous modelling, including that less water is likely to be available from the Donnelly River in the future. While the CSIRO focus has been on the future water availability for the SFIS, it also highlights that water will become scarcer for everyone, which means doing nothing is not an option. The Government is committed to maximum transparency and will incorporate community engagement and feedback in the steps ahead.

Community update

On 25 March 2022 Minister MacTiernan travelled to Manjimup to meet with key stakeholders to discuss the status of the SFIS and how the updated CSIRO water modelling impacts on project viability. The Minister reiterated that the CSIRO findings revealed there is a real vulnerability in the Southern Forests region and there is a need to double down on issues of water security into the future. The Minister committed to engaging with the community.

Get involved

The WA State Government is committed to working with the community to map out the future of the SFIS. A series of community workshops will be held targeting various stakeholders’ groups. We encourage you to check back here to stay informed of the project ongoings.

Community engagement portal

DPIRD will be establishing a community engagement portal that will house all relevant reports and project materials. It will be the primary avenue along with the workshops for you to provide your feedback. The link to the portal will be provided on this website.

For further information or to be provided with documents in an alternative format please contact sfis@dpird.wa.gov.au