The Department of Water has announced Low Aquifer Storage and made available from the Southern Borefield the amount of 2 Gigalitres of relief water over the 12 months to support irrigators whose self-supply has reduced or stopped pumping from their bores altogether.
Gascoyne Water Co-operative Ltd (GWC) has issued all its' members a letter and form entitled "Emergency Relief Water - Expression of Interest" so that irrigators can request an amount of water under the relief announcement via the scheme. Click here to access the forms:
The Department of Water is responsible for allocating and licensing abstraction of Western Australia's water resources on behalf of the Minister for Water.
The Department uses water allocation plans to manage how water is abstracted from surface and groundwater systems. The groundwater and surface water resources in the Lower Gascoyne area are critical for the town water supply for Carnarvon adn the local horticultural indistury.
Contained in this plan (page 23) is a provision for temporary increase to subarea B-L allocation limit (this is the borefield basins that GWC water is sourced from both on the North and South side of the river).
The trigger for this temporary increase is: After 18 months of no river flow or if the Department determines low aquifer storage in subarea A (private river bores in the Riverbed Sands Formation) prior to this time.
The response to these triggers is: The Department of Water may temporarily increase the allowable draw in subarea B-L to 17.5 GL/yr. They can also decrease the allowable draw (see Plan for further information).
Currently there is no longer any provision for Emergency Water (GWC's term for Low Acquifer Storage water) as there is no declared Low Aquifer Storage period at present nor has the period since the last river flow reached 18 months.