Unrestricted pumping declared for Carnarvon irrigators

Staff reporterMidwest Times

Carnarvon irrigators will have access to unrestricted pumping from the Gascoyne River and Riverbed Sands aquifer, after water began flowing at Carnarvon’s 9 Mile Bridge.

A Department of Water and Environmental Regulation spokeswoman said river flows of 3.5m were first recorded at Yinnetharra Crossing gauging station on Sunday.

The flows came following widespread rainfall associated with ex-tropical cyclone Joyce which fell across the middle and upper catchments of the Lyons and Gascoyne rivers.

The spokeswoman said samples from the first flows indicated the water was of good quality, around 146mg/L.

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Water Minister Dave Kelly said ex tropical cyclone Joyce had brought much needed rainfall to the Gascoyne area.

“This flow is important news for Carnarvon’s horticultural industry,” he said.

“The Gascoyne River system is the main water source for the horticultural industry in Carnarvon and good flows are important for recharge to the groundwater aquifers used for irrigation and town water supply in between river flows.

“This welcome news gives a good start to this year’s water budget for the horticultural industry while we continue to work on the longer term improvements to water security.”

Unrestricted pumping was also declared last February.

It provides irrigators with access to water above their annual water entitlement from Subarea A, with no monthly limit.

The Department of Water and Environmental Regulation has encouraged growers to make the most of the unrestricted pumping period, which will help recharge the Riverbed Sands aquifer.

For updates on river levels, visit water.wa.gov.au.

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