Water planning a better future for the Carnarvon Artesian Basin
Released 07 Jan 2008
The Department of Water has released a plan guiding the management of water resources in the Carnarvon Artesian Basin.
Announcing the plan, Acting Director General, Department of Water John Ruprecht said the Carnarvon Artesian Basin water management plan was initiated in 2005 by State Government with a team of participating pastoralists.
"This plan maintains the initial purpose of protecting the rights of current users, while promoting better water management with water efficiency," Mr Ruprecht said.
The main aquifer in the Carnarvon Artesian Basin is the Birdrong aquifer which covers a huge geographic area of about 74,000 square kilometres and stretches along the Western Australian coast 80km south of Karratha to about 25km north of Kalbarri and varies in width between 50km and 150km.
"Historically artesian groundwater from the Birdrong has been used by the pastoral industry and for town water supplies, but it is now under increasing demand from new development proposals," Mr Ruprecht said.
"While the groundwater resources of the Birdrong aquifer are significant, recharge is limited so careful management is required to ensure that the quality and accessibility to groundwater is not compromised.
The plan, which was finalised after a period of public comment, sets out an impact management approach to assess all new licence applications within the area including:
- Supporting the pastoral sector by having the maintenance of artesian water pressure as a policy objective
- Promoting water use efficiency and supporting the Carnarvon Artesian Rehabilitation Project's work in capping of free flowing artesian bores which let water run out to the surface
- Requiring proponents to show there is no unacceptable impact on other users before any water is allocated..
- Providing information on hydrogeology, current water use, and values of the resource.
A copy of the plan can be obtained from the Department of Water on tel: 08 6364 7600 or by visiting the web site at www.water.wa.gov.au
Contact: Dianne Dixon
Phone: (08) 6364 6983 / 0434 603 441