Farm Water Access Plans (Farm WAPs) are a key initiative to ensure the long-term use of irrigation water does not have a detrimental impact on soil health and the broader environment, especially protected species.
These property-specific documents guide the sustainable application of irrigation water to underpin the long-term viability of land for agricultural production and promote environmental sustainability.
Farm Water Access Plans (Farm WAPs) are required by State and Federal approvals for Tasmanian Irrigation to provide water to irrigators for any new schemes that are constructed.
These plans are developed with each farmer so the rules around how water must be applied and stored are understood.
Each plan identifies relevant management practices to manage the environmental values and risks (soil, water and biodiversity) associated with irrigation on and near the property, as well as highlighting other key guidelines, regulations and codes of practice that exist across Tasmania.
Tasmanian Irrigation assists in the development of new Farm WAPs when irrigators plan to access TI water from new and existing schemes.
Farm WAP development includes on-ground surveys by independent prequalified consultants, so it is important the full future irrigation areas and dams to store Tasmanian Irrigation water are assessed to reduce the likelihood of repeated surveying.
A range of appropriate land use types are described in each Farm WAP to ease the transition from one agricultural use to another. For example surface or root cropping becoming horticulture.
If landowners have an existing Farm WAP and irrigation plans have changed since its development, Tasmanian Irrigation also facilitates amendments of existing Farm WAPs, most typically irrigation area, new or different dams to store TI water or where significant drainage improvements have been conducted changing the land suitability.
It is important Farm WAPs remain up to date to avoid applying TI water not in accordance with your Farm WAP (non-compliance), and that lessees and farm staff are provided a copy to read.
If you have a potential amendment or need additional copies of your report and / or maps, the Farm WAP team is happy to discuss the process and (if surveys are required) potential costs.
“Farm WAPs are designed to address environmental requirements in a practical ‘common sense’ manner, that often has financial benefits to the property.”
Random audits of 10 to 15 percent of Farm WAPs receiving TI water are conducted annually, with additional audits where risks to the environment are greater, to determine compliance in operational schemes. Tasmanian Irrigation is committed to working with irrigators to proactively address potential non-conformance.
“The development of a Farm WAP is an important component of gaining access to Tasmanian Irrigation water, as well as the ongoing management and application of that water for best practice environmental outcomes. Thank you Tasmanian Irrigation for your ongoing assistance to ensure our farming enterprises are compliant with all irrigation legislative requirements.” - Mathew Dent, Whitemore irrigator