Gascoyne aquifer status report available
Released 04 Sep 2012
A status report for the Lower Gascoyne River aquifers has been completed by the Department of Water and made available to local irrigators.
Midwest Gascoyne Regional Manager Adam Maskew said the aquifer status report provided an up-to-date picture of how the region's groundwater sources are tracking.
"The report shows that town water supplies for Carnarvon are secure and that irrigation scheme supply for the Gascoyne Water Cooperative is tracking normally," Mr Maskew said.
"However, the report shows that groundwater in Subarea A which is used by licensed groundwater irrigators is currently under pressure including higher than normal salinity levels."
Monitoring of private and department bores in Subarea A in June 2012 indicated that although the shallow River Bed Sands aquifer was 75 per cent full, the salinity level was similar to the August 2010 period which had followed about 510 days of no river flow when the aquifer was 25 per cent full.
"The unusual brackish surface water from a small river flow earlier this year within the Gascoyne River has infiltrated into the river bed sands aquifer resulting in higher salinity within this aquifer and this is affecting use," he said.
The report will be used by the department to make a decision about the release of Low Aquifer Storage relief water from the irrigation scheme supply (Subarea B-L) as set out in the 2011 Lower Gascoyne Allocation Plan.
"The department is in discussions with key stakeholders including the Carnarvon Water Allocation Advisory Committee, Gascoyne Water Cooperatives, Carnarvon Growers' Association, Water Corporation, Department of Agriculture and Food WA (DAFWA) and others about the activation of the Subarea A Low Aquifer Storage relief water."
"The community can be assured that in considering any request for water the department balances the current state of the water resource and the likelihood of aquifer replenishment with the needs of industry," Mr Maskew said.
For further information or to obtain a copy of the Gascoyne aquifer status report, contact the Department of Water's Carnarvon office on 9941 6100.
Contact: Peter Collins
Phone: (08) 6364 6848 / 0434 603 441