Plan released to manage take of surface water in Gingin
Released 13 May 2011
The plan reflects current issues regarding water availability in the management area, with particular guidance for summer pumping.
"Low streamflow, linked to declining rainfall and groundwater levels, has meant some surface water users are no longer able to take their full license entitlement during the summer irrigation period when demand for water is greatest," Swan Avon A/Regional Manager Don Cummins said.
"The local community is aware that rainfall was extremely low last year and as a result, the flows in Gingin and Lennard brooks have been affected."
Mr Cummins said the department completed an investigation into the connectivity between groundwater and surface water along Gingin Brook, which identified groundwater discharge as important to maintain summer flow.
He said the investigations revealed the volume of reliable summer flow has fallen due to a drop in groundwater levels.
"In order to improve the reliability of supply for existing surface water users and to protect the values associated with Gingin Brook, the department has set allocation limits at or below the volume of current licensed entitlements," he said.
"This means that no more than what is currently being taken by existing users will be available for licensing.
Mr Cummins said the department with the cooperation of the local community will seek to recoup unused water where possible to avoid over allocation of these resources for the future and to protect existing users' entitlements.
The plan's release comes after a three-month public comment period beginning in September 2009. The comments received cover a number of issues including riparian rights, trading, environmental flow levels, monitoring, community consultation and the connectivity between surface and groundwater.
"We appreciate the time people have taken to provide comment as they gave us valuable information that was used to update and finalise the plan," Mr Cummins said.
He said the department will continue to talk with the Gingin community on water-related issues through consultation on the Gingin groundwater allocation plan, which is currently being developed.
He also advised meetings for discussion of the groundwater allocation plan will be publicised in local newspapers, key points in the community, and via the newly-formed Community Water Action Group.
The Gingin surface water allocation plan and supporting documents are available from the Department of Water website at www.water.wa.gov.au or by contacting the Swan Avon Regional office at (08) 6250 8000.
Contact: Peter Collins
Phone: (08) 6364 6848 / 0434 603 441