Western Australia Minister for Water Mia Davies
Aquifer Controls Trigger Carnarvon Water Release
Victor P Taffa
- Ensuring sustainable use of Carnarvon’s borefields
- Supporting Carnarvon irrigators through dry periods
Extra water will be made available to Carnarvon irrigators to support water budgets for 2016-17.
Water Minister Mia Davies said based on the Department of Water’s aquifer status report and other information, the Carnarvon Water Allocation Advisory Committee had recommended the department release water for distribution if required, with a target date of December 1, 2016.
Under the 2011 Lower Gascoyne water allocation plan, the Liberal National Government can release extra relief water from the main bulk water supply borefield to compensate for reduced self-supply.
“Some growers have reduced pumping from the River Bed Sands aquifer or stopped pumping from some bores altogether, due to limited supplies of good quality water, following no major river flows in 2016.” Ms. Davies said.
This recommendation is supported by the Carnarvon Growers Association and the Gascoyne Water Co-operative, which will distribute the water sourced from the Irrigation Scheme Supply (Subarea B-L).
“The Department of Water suggests that growers evaluate their current water use and future water requirements in light of the impending low aquifer storage declaration, and plan to ensure they have the right quantities of water to finish off crops this summer.” Ms. Davies said.
The department monitors aquifer levels and borefield performance, and provides updates to growers every three months.
Ms. Davies said the management rules helped protect the area’s aquifers during periods of low water availability, and the Lower Gascoyne water allocation plan would be reviewed next year to ensure it was current and continuing to meet expectations.
“We are also busy preparing a draft master plan for the Gascoyne area that incorporates the work of the Carnarvon Ministerial Advisory Committee, which is set to be released for public comment in December.” Ms. Davies said.
- Up to 2GL of water over 12 months can be made available for the Gascoyne Water Co-operative to distribute under a low aquifer storage declaration
- For assistance with water budget and contingency options, contact Department of Water Carnarvon district manager Troy Sinclair on 9941 6102