Pilbara groundwater allocation plan open for comment
Released 31 Oct 2012
The Department of Water today released its first draft allocation plan for the Pilbara, outlining how groundwater resources will be managed to support industry and towns in the region.
The plan covers a 200,000 square kilometre area that includes the coastal towns of Port Hedland, Karratha and Onslow and inland to Marble Bar, Paraburdoo and Newman.
"The Pilbara groundwater allocation plan: for public comment confirms groundwater availability for ports and coastal towns, and provides a framework for groundwater licensing and management in the industry sectors across the region," Department of Water Pilbara Region Manager Hamid Mohsenzadeh said.
"It details how allocation limits, licensing, monitoring and evaluation will be used by the Department of Water in partnership with industry to provide certainty and transparency in regard to the management of the Pilbara's water supplies."
He said a major component of the draft allocation plan addresses water management in the mining sector, which is a significant water user in the region.
"The draft plan will assist the industry by clarifying key issues relating to mine water licensing and mine dewatering practices, including water reuse," Mr Mohsenzadeh said.
"Effective management of the region's groundwater systems is critical to facilitating regional development in line with the state government's Pilbara Cities vision.
"The plan is based on the best available scientific knowledge, using three years of investigations into the region's water resources at a cost of $3.3 million funded by the Australian Government's Water for the Future initiative."
The draft plan was developed following consultation with stakeholders and complements the Department of Water's Pilbara regional water plan 2010-2030, the Pilbara water in mining guideline and broader water management in the region.
The Pilbara groundwater allocation plan: for public comment is open for public submissions until 18 January 2013 and stakeholders are encouraged to comment.
The plan can be viewed on the Department of Water website: www.water.gov.au.
Contact: Peter Collins
Phone: (08) 6364 6848 / 0434 603 441