Kim Hames

Kim Hames


    Reducing groundwater wastage in the Carnarvon Artesian Basin

    24/10/2000 1:05 PM

    A $4.8 million project to reduce groundwater wastage in the Carnarvon Artesian Basin was officially launched today (October 24) at Wahroonga station with the opening of one of the first new water-efficient bores.

    Water Resources Minister Dr Hames said an estimated 15 million cubic metres (15 gigalitres) of groundwater was lost to evaporation and seepage every year in the area because open drains were used to distribute water, disused bores had not been capped and corroded bores were leaking into subsurface soil.

    “This is equivalent to losing a quarter the capacity of Mundaring Weir every year and, if allowed to continue, the bores - which rely on artesian pressure to flow without the aid of pumps - will eventually stop flowing,” Dr Hames said.

    “About 70 per cent of all groundwater abstracted in the area and - in the case of some pastoral bores, up to 95 per cent of the flow - is wasted.

    “With 11 of the 18 landholders already signed up to undertake rehabilitation works on 38 artesian bores, this project will very quickly provide tremendous environmental and economic benefits.”

    The Carnarvon Artesian Basin bore rehabilitation project is a partnership between pastoralists and Government, funded on the basis of 40 per cent Commonwealth funds, 40 per cent State Government and 20 per cent from the lease holder. The Water and Rivers Commission is co-ordinating the project with input from Agriculture WA.

    The rehabilitation project involves redrilling new holes, capping off old bores and distributing the water from the new bore around the stations through sealed pipework, rather than inefficient surface drains which resulted in large water losses through leakage and evaporation.

    Dr Hames said production in the area would be more efficient, water supply would be more reliable, and considerable quantities of extra water would become available to support potential new development in the area.

    Media contacts:
    Minister Hames Office: Sandy Gater, telephone 9424 7455
    Water and Rivers Commission: Deb Rohan, telephone 9278 0720