A company with water licences in the Myalup area of the South West has pleaded guilty to two charges of taking water in excess of a licensed entitlement.
Galati Nominees pleaded guilty to two charges under the Rights in Water and Irrigation Act 1914 for offences committed in the 2014-15 year and were fined $20,000 in total plus court costs.
The Department of Water prosecuted Galati Nominees for taking more than 320 million litres of water more than authorised for use in vegetable growing.
Department of Water executive director of regional delivery and regulation Paul Brown said the offences were the largest unauthorised taking of water prosecuted by the state to date.
“One charge was for 163,204kL over the legal entitlement, and the other for 160,699kL over the legal entitlement,” he said.
He said the department sets licensed water entitlements to protect the resource from over-abstraction.
“By taking water in excess of the entitlement Galati Nominees put the local water resource at risk,” he said.
“Taking more water than allowed can have an impact on other users’ water availability, and contribute to increasing salinity levels which can limit the use of this water for social and economic purposes.”
Mr Brown said the department’s practice was to work with all licensees experiencing difficulty complying with license conditions before prosecution was considered, and this had occurred with Galati Nominees.
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