Hon Ken Baston MLC

Hon Ken Baston MLC

Former Minister for Agriculture and Food; Fisheries

Hon Terry Redman MLA

Hon Terry Redman MLA

Former Minister for Regional Development; Lands; Minister Assisting the Minister for State Development

    Gascoyne River water harvesting to cut costs

    11/09/2015 1:30 PM
    • $300,000 sand spears project to boost Gascoyne horticultural production
    • Project is part of the Gascoyne Food Bowl initiative

    A pilot project to harvest surplus water from the Gascoyne River through the use of sand spears has the potential to cut water supply costs significantly for local fruit and vegetable growers.


    Inspecting the first of five units to be installed in the northern borefield while in Carnarvon today, Agriculture and Food Minister Ken Baston said the sand spears could harvest 30-50 litres per second of fresh water from the river, which would otherwise flow out to sea or go saline.


    "This first spear is a 12 metre long, 200 millimetre diameter stainless steel pipe with one millimetre slots, which has been laid in a clay trough in the riverbed and packed with gravel," Mr Baston said.


    "The gravel and screen-slotted pipe acts as a strainer from which clean water can be pumped while the river sands are saturated.


    "If growers can pump from sand spears for two months of the year while the river flows, that is two months the local aquifers get a spell. This makes for more sustainable and efficient use of the Gascoyne River and lower cost to growers."


    Regional Development Minister Terry Redman said the $300,000 project was part of the Gascoyne Food Bowl initiative, made possible by the State Government's Royalties for Regions program.


    "The initiative aims to increase horticultural production through sustainable practices and management of resources in the Gascoyne region, contributing to economic diversity and development," Mr Redman said.


    "I am pleased Royalties for Regions continues investing in a range of key infrastructure projects to support a better quality of life in regional Western Australia enabling regions to grow and contribute to strong economies."


    Fact File

    • 35 suitable production bores have been installed by the Gascoyne Food Bowl project using airborne electro-magnetic technology to expand horticultural production
    • The Gascoyne region currently supplies about 40,000 tonnes per annum of horticultural produce to WA's domestic market, worth about $85 million
    • The Gascoyne Food Bowl aims to boost the region's horticultural production by 400ha
    • For more information on Royalties for Regions projects, visit Bigger Picture - Regions

    Agriculture and Food Minister's office - 6552 5400

    Regional Development Minister's office - 6552 6700