Water Minister Dave Kelly has today announced unrestricted pumping from the Gascoyne River and Riverbed Sands aquifer has been declared for Carnarvon irrigators for the rest of February.
The announcement comes after the water started flowing at Nine Mile Bridge at around 8.30pm on Monday evening. Department of Water and Environmental Regulation (DWER) gauges are indicating a river height today of 2.8 metres and samples show good water quality at 209 mg/L TDS.
The flows have been generated by substantial rain in the upper Gascoyne catchment as a result of ex-Tropical Cyclone Damien.
An earlier flow triggered by ex-Tropical Cyclone Blake, reached Nine Mile Bridge two weeks ago but the flow was not sufficient to declare unrestricted pumping.
Unrestricted pumping was last declared in May 2019. It provides irrigators with access to water above their annual water entitlement from Subarea A, with no monthly limit.
As stated by Water Minister Dave Kelly:
“It is good to see one of the State’s horticultural food bowls getting some good news in the form of extra irrigation water.
“Unrestricted pumping provides not only the opportunity for irrigators to get some extra water, but it helps DWER manage the salinity of the aquifers that are used for high value horticulture by replenishing groundwater with new fresh flows.
“This is the fourth year that Carnarvon aquifers have been recharged and growers have experienced unrestricted pumping.
“This is good news for growers and regional water security after a tough few years prior to this. It is also good for Perth as most of the fruit and vegetables grown in Carnarvon are sold within Western Australia.”