Hope brews as recycled water saves family farms from drought
RELIEF rode in on a B-double truck as Water on Wheels made its first donation to a Womina farming family yesterday.
The innovative initiative recycles water from Australia’s largest brewery and turns it into stockwater, buying drought-stricken residents a little more time.
It was an emotional moment for recipients Greg and Sue Free as they watched the 25,000L of donated water pour into their concrete tank.
Mr Free, a fourth generation grain and cattle producer, said that for the first time, in a long time, he felt as though he wasn’t alone.
“It’s comforting to know everyone sees what’s going on,” he said
“People can feel our pain out here.
“I’m shocked and I’m so grateful.”
The delivery comes at a crucial time for the couple, who have spent many hundreds of dollars on water carting and watched as their pump started to struggle to draw water from the bore.
“The quality isn’t too bad yet but the supply keeps getting lower,” Mr Free said.
“We’ve already lost a few bores.”
The donated water will feed the few remaining heads of cattle that remain on the Free farm, delaying total destocking by at least a few months.
The heifers and their calves are the only remaining source of potential income on the property, where cereal grain has failed to grow for over three years.
The long dry dealt a devastating blow to Greg and Sue, who hope to one day pass on the farm to their grandchildren, as their parents once did for them.
It’s that future Granite Belt Drought Assistance, Carlton United Brewery and McColl’s teamed up to preserve.
Every single week, for the foreseeable future, the organisations will deliver more Water on Wheels to the local people who need it most.
GBDA representative Glenda Riley said she’s come face-to-face with the sheer physical, mental and financial pressure rural residents are facing.
More than 1700 people have requested help from GBDA and Ms Riley said the program will make a massive difference to their lives.
“The more water we have, the stronger we are, and the more we’re able to help each other,” she said.
“Having water in the tank makes it easier for people to sleep at night.
“At the end of the day it’s a gesture of hope.”
Farmers who want to find out more should contact email@example.com