Environment

Gingin Groundwater Allocation Plan

The Gingin Water Group has had its final meeting with the Department of Water before the imminent release of the region’s water allocation plan.

The rapidly changing climate , land use and knowledge base in the Gingin region have all led to the report being at least two years overdue . The DoW has had many meetings with the GWG over this time in an effort to get the most up to date information upon which to formulate the plan.

Yield is the amount of water that can be safely used from an aquifer and is determined by the DoW whose scientists must identify the various aquifers in the region which hold the water resource and estimate the amount of water that enters each every year. Not all of the total recharge is available for human use. The natural environment may require anywhere between 25%-80% of the water in a shallow aquifer , while deep and confined water sources take much longer to recharge and are considered in a different context.

Despite the ever present pressures of political expediency it is the opinion of the committee of the Gingin Water Group that the DoW is almost entirely driven by the science that underpins the calculation of the yield. The final meeting summarised the entire process that was followed that ultimately resulted in the report to be released by the Minister in the next three weeks. Public comments will be invited over a three month period post release. Several public meetings will be held by DoW during this period.

Dandaragan , Gingin and Neergabby venues were indicated . The Report will be posted on the DoW website under the Gingin region. This can be accessed directly from the GWG site www.ginginwater.org.au. The region west of Brand highway and south of Gingin Brook was identified some time ago as being particularly vulnerable to overuse and drying .

As a consequence DoW addressed that area in the Gnangara Groundwater Plan released in 2009 in an effort to put early allocation measures in place to help protect the aquifers in that region. This same region will be reassessed in the Gingin Plan and further addressed in the ongoing attempts to understand and describe the deeper aquifers to the north west , via the 24 deep bores currently being dug across the area , as well as the increased monitoring of the system that recharges the Gingin and Lennard Brooks in the east.

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