Digging deep to address water needs and climate change

A $5.1 million groundwater investigation is now underway in Western Australia to look at how to address water needs for horticulture and the environment.

The groundwater investigation, conducted by the Department of Water and Environmental Regulation, will look at how much water is available between Gingin and Moora, and where it can be taken from.

Over the next eight months, up to 21 new exploration bores will be constructed across the Dandaragan Plateau to provide new data on the quality, quantity and flow direction of groundwater in this area.

“This is a high value horticultural area with a large number of groundwater and surface water licences,” West Australia Minister for Water, Dave Kelly said.

“Its groundwater dependant brooks and streams also support some of the most diverse populations of native fish in the south-west of the State.

The information will help the department establish if there is more water available for agriculture and industry, and where to access it.

The investigation will also assist in the management of water use around Gingin Brook, which relies on groundwater to support its flow and has experienced up to a 40 per cent decline in streamflow since 2010.

“This work will give us the right data at a local scale to continue to manage water for irrigation as well as the environment,” Mr Kelly said.

“It will also identify potential areas where more water can be taken from, or where increased use is sustainable, and complements previous groundwater investigations in the Dinner Hill and Gingin areas.”

The drilling program follows an extensive 7,500 sq km aerial electromagnetic survey in 2017, and is part of the department’s State Groundwater Investigation Program.

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