Talking Water with the Coppin Family
The station village with a rich history
Building on a rich family history of 5 generations at Yarrie, Annabelle Coppin has recently purchased the station from her parents. She lives and breathes Yarrie along with her husband Thomas and gorgeous daughter Tanami. She describes the impressive cattle enterprise as a ‘village’.
“We have many different people staying with us in the mustering season. Over summer most people leave—the heat chases them off! But it’s a home to many and I love the fact they can be a part of this place and always feel welcome and at home.”
“There are people who have been coming here since my nan was on the place, it’s a link that should never be broken.”
Managing Water on a sprawling cattle station
Challenges of limited rainfall
A few years ago when ex-tropical Cyclone Joyce brought much needed rain to cattle country in the northern parts of the state, the Coppin’s received 140mm of rain over a few days!
“When you get that decent rain you know that you’re going to start getting set up for the year, so the pressure is off a bit which is fantastic.” Annabelle said.
While it’s nice to get downpours like that, like much of the Pilbara, Yarrie station is often dry, and have to be mindful of their water supply and usage.
Having reliable water tanks that don’t require maintenance or upkeep is crucial to managing a large station, and can save stress and headaches year round.
How is water managed on the station?
Water on Yarrie Station in the Pilbara is sourced from bores and wells, as well as from creeks and waterholes on the surface.
“Once it rains here, the cattle have endless surface water which spreads throughout the whole place for at least 3 months a year. As this slowly dries up, they make their way into the water points, so keeping water up to them is essential,” says Annabelle Coppin who owns/manages Yarrie Station.
“Because dirty water can half a cattle’s feed intake, the team at Yarrie make clean water and troughs a priority. This is easier said than done, given that the water run is about 250km!”
How often do you check water levels?
“We check waters at least every 5 days in the hot weather. We have about 60 watering points at the moment, but we’re always trying to increase this; our goal is to one day have a radius of no more than 3km from each watering point.
“On many waters we have a dual system design with a solar pump and a windmill at each point. This takes the pressure off and makes it far more durable.”
How important is water at Yarrie?
“Water is everything!”
– Anabelle Coppin, Owner of Yarrie Station
What has this season been like at Yarrie?
“2017 has been a great season. We’ve had our average rainfall of 300mm, with rain falling really well and gently from January to April. We needed it as we had two failed seasons the years before. Thankfully we have recently received 140mm in January which was much needed to start the season.”
What's the best thing about life on a cattle station?
It sounds like a lot of hard work, but Annabelle says she can’t imagine any other life for her family.
“We love the bush, the country, our cattle and other animals, and the lifestyle that comes with it. I also like the fact that we run our own business, meaning we can take on many opportunities as they arise.”
Pioneer Water Tanks come in a range of sizes, from 12,000 litres to 500,000 litres, which is important for locations like cattle stations, where water needs to be stored for long dry periods without running out.
Quality stock water tanks for cattle stations
Pioneer Water Tanks has been providing the highest quality water storage solutions to cattle stations across Western Australia for more than 30 years, and continues to lead the way in water storage all across Australia. Get in touch today for a quote for your station or farm.