Evaluation statement for Gingin water allocation planning released

  • New evaluation statement updates water management arrangements to address climate change impacts in Gingin area
  • Evaluation highlights ongoing risks to groundwater and surface water resources from declining rainfall
  • New measures follow the evaluation of the current Gingin groundwater and surface water allocation plans
  • Updates will not impact existing water licence allocations and will strengthen water security in this important agricultural region

Gingin water management arrangements have been revised in response to ongoing declines in groundwater levels due to reduced rainfall caused by climate change.

The updates are outlined in the Gingin groundwater and surface water allocation plans: 2024 evaluation statement, released today.

To strengthen the protection of Gingin’s water resources and to support local water users and the environment, there will be a restriction on new water licensing, and the trade of water in areas most impacted by climate change and water use.

The updated arrangements will assist in protecting the environmentally sensitive areas of Gingin Brook, Lennard Brook and the Moore River estuary.

Average annual rainfall has dropped by nine per cent since the release of the Gingin surface water allocation plan in 2011. Summer streamflow in Gingin Brook, which provides water for irrigated agriculture and supports aquatic fauna communities, has declined by 34 per cent over the same period.

In the southern part of the Gingin groundwater area, aquifers that provide water for irrigated agriculture and support sensitive groundwater-dependent environments are also in decline.

The Gingin area is an important agriculture region in our State, and its aquatic systems sustain diverse communities of flora and fauna, with the species richness of fish and crayfish amongst the highest in south-west Western Australia.

Gingin is also one of the areas of the State most impacted by climate change, with climate projections indicating rainfall will continue to decline into the future.

The Gingin groundwater and surface water allocation plans: 2024 evaluation statement found ongoing risks to groundwater and surface water resources in the southern part of the region, where climate change and abstraction has led to long-term declines in groundwater levels and streamflow.

The updated measures are an important interim step while a new combined Gingin water allocation plan for surface water and groundwater is developed.

This new plan will include further consideration of the abstraction reductions proposed for parts of the area covered in the 2022 Gnangara groundwater allocation plan.

The new draft Gingin water allocation plan is expected to be released for public consultation in 2028, after updated groundwater modelling using the latest climate projections is completed.

Comments attributed to Water Minister Simone McGurk:

“Along with the rest of south-west Western Australia, Gingin is facing challenges associated with reducing rainfall due to climate change.

“Gingin’s groundwater and surface water resources are highly valued by the community and are important to the State’s horticultural production.

“The evaluation showed we need to put updated management arrangements in place to help ensure their sustainability and resilience to climate change.

“I know there has been concern in the community in regard to the take of groundwater for water bottling – and I want to reassure the public this continues to be carefully monitored and will be subject to these updated licensing arrangements, noting water bottling currently represents 0.34 per cent of licensed groundwater in Gingin.

“The updated management arrangements are an important interim step while a new water allocation plan is developed for the Gingin area.”

/Public Release. View in full here.