Water Minister Terry Redman today released a water management plan to help cater for the needs of the Ord expansion project in the Goomig and Knox plains areas.
Mr Redman said the Ord surface water allocation plan would cater for the water requirements of the recently announced Kimberley Agricultural Investment’s 13,400ha Ord Stage 2 irrigation expansion project.
The Minister said the plan outlined how surface water would be allocated and licensed to meet the current needs of agriculture and industry while ensuring water flows of the lower Ord were maintained.
“The Ord River is one of Australia’s most significant waterways and the area is under increasing demand from irrigated agriculture and hydropower. The new plan strikes the right balance between the needs of all stakeholders,” he said.
The plan also identified water for further agricultural expansion.
“Under the plan, up to 865GL of water can be allocated annually from the Ord River downstream of the Ord River Dam, providing a reliable water supply to satisfy future irrigation demand,” Mr Redman said.
“It also sets out how releases from the Ord River Dam power station will be managed and adjusted over time as additional irrigation areas are established when inflows are lower during drier times.
“This management strategy will ensure there are secure and reliable water supplies for an expanding irrigation industry as well as a healthy lower Ord environment.”
Clearer management guidelines regarding traditional indigenous access to the waterway, water-based tourism and recreational opportunities are also included in the plan.
Community members, industry representatives and other stakeholders contributed to the development of the Ord plan, which replaces the 2006 Ord River management plan.
The allocation limit of 865GL/year includes 750GL for diversion at Lake Kununurra and 115GL for diversion at Carlton Plain and Mantinea
The Ord surface water allocation plan will be evaluated annually to ensure ongoing security and reliability of water supply
Minister’s office - 6552 6700