Drillers strike water in Gascoyne

The West Australian
Ken Baston.
Camera IconKen Baston. Credit: The West Australian

A drilling program to ease water shortages in the Gascoyne is set to deliver an extra two megalitres daily to local growers until the river flows.

With an extended dry spell threatening the region's horticultural production, Agriculture and Food Minister Ken Baston fast-tracked a $300,000 State Government funded drilling program.

"We drilled 12 exploratory bores to about 65m deep at sites identified by the Department of Agriculture and Food's aerial geophysics survey," Mr Baston said. "One bore appears to be highly productive and should fulfil the objective of delivering two megalitres per day.

"This means we no longer need to find a second bore right now.

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"I am pleased to say that through the exploratory drilling program more bore sites have been identified and can be developed if required down the track."

Irrigation water for Carnarvon farmers is sourced from a series of aquifers associated with the Gascoyne River and supplied by Gascoyne Water.

Water supplies in the area have not been adequately recharged since the floods in 2010-11 leading to severe water shortages.

"This program has delivered a high-yielding production bore close to current infrastructure and pipeline connections," the Minister said. "It was tested over the weekend and is on track to provide water to the local industry this week.

"We expect this bore will provide emergency water until the next river flow and will then contribute to future expansion as part of the Gascoyne Food Bowl initiative."

The Department of Agriculture and Food - through the State Government's Royalties for Regions More Dollars per Drop program - also hosted workshops in Carnarvon this month to help the industry through the dry season.

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