Protecting groundwater in the Gascoyne
Released 01 May 2007
People in the Gascoyne region are invited to comment on a plan being developed to ensure their continued access to quality groundwater.
Department of Water, Acting Director-General Paul Frewer said the draft Carnarvon Artesian Basin Water Management Plan aimed to provide secure, sustainable water resource for the region now and into the future.
"The Carnarvon Artesian Basin contains the Birdrong aquifer, which is Western Australia's most geographically extensive artesian aquifer.
"Historically it has been used by the pastoral industry but it is under increasing demand from new development proposals.
"While the resources of the Birdrong aquifer are significant, they are limited in recharge, so careful management is required to ensure that the quality and accessibility to groundwater is not compromised.
"It is crucial that water is allocated appropriately.
"This is an important issue for the Gascoyne region and we want to be sure everyone has an opportunity to be involved in the decision-making process," Mr Frewer said.
"The draft Plan guides groundwater licence assessments and allocations within the Carnarvon Artesian basin.
"It describes an impact management approach to assess new licence applications which will protect existing users and their access to water.
"This means that new licences will only be approved if there is no unacceptable impact on existing users.
The draft water management plan:
- identifies and explains a new allocation and impact management approach of the resource;
- outlines the principles and policy for managing the resource;
- outlines the licensing assessment process and management requirements; and
- presents information on hydrogeology, current water use, and values of the resource.
The draft Plan will be available for public comment over the next eight weeks. Copies can be obtained from the Department of Water on tel: 08 6364 7600 or by visiting our web site at www.water.wa.gov.au.
Contact: Peter Collins
Phone: (08) 6364 6848 / 0434 603 441