Gascoyne irrigators advised to manage demand under low water availability
Released 27 Sep 2013
Now is the time for Gascoyne irrigators to plan how they will maximise use of available water supplies.
Department of Water Acting Midwest Gascoyne Regional Manager Troy Sinclair said the combined challenges of low river flows, low aquifer recharge and rising demand for water in the Gascoyne has heightened the need for careful water management and planning.
"Gascoyne River flows and Lower Gascoyne aquifer recharge have been low since early last year," Mr Sinclair said.
"Meanwhile demand for water in the Carnarvon area is expected to increase in the coming months.
"The Department of Water is considering making another round of low aquifer storage relief water available to irrigators later this year as provided for in the 2011 Lower Gascoyne water allocation plan.
"However, regardless of what decision is taken on low aquifer storage, local irrigators are strongly urged to prepare for a possible tightening of water availability.
"Gascoyne growers should consider their current and future water needs and match plantings to their available water supplies, in recognition of the pressure on irrigation water supply.
"The department is working with stakeholders via the Low Aquifer Storage working group to promote sustainable groundwater abstraction, support the needs of the horticultural industry and maintain security of the town water supply."
The Department of Agriculture and Food urged growers to maintain careful monitoring of their water use for the remainder of the year.
"Growers need to consider the possibility of tightening water availability when planning next year's plantings," Department of Agriculture and Food Gascoyne Manager Chris Schelfhout said.
The Low Aquifer Storage working group is chaired by the Department of Water and includes members from Carnarvon Water Allocation Advisory Committee, Water Corporation, Gascoyne water cooperatives, Carnarvon Growers Association and Department of Agriculture and Food.
Contact: Peter Collins
Phone: (08) 6364 6848 / 0434 603 441