Groundwater Areas

The importance of groundwater in the Northern Agricultural Region (NAR) cannot be underestimated. Groundwater sustains the life of the environmental, social and economic systems in the region. Groundwater also has important cultural values and ecological functions including provision of base flows to wetlands and waterways. It supports recreation and tourism, and provides a source of water for industrial and agricultural activities including mineral processing, horticulture and aquaculture.

The Department of Water have a number of great interactive tools to investigate their data. The Hydrogeological Atlas shows detailed information about WA aquifers and the Water Information Reporting map details information from all the monitoring bores.

Click on the image to go to the DoW map.

Click on the image to go to the DoW map.

Click on the image to go to the DoW map.

Click on the image to go to the DoW map.

  • Allanooka Borefield

    Located 50 km south of Geraldton in the Arrowsmith groundwater area, the Allanooka Borefield houses the bores and summit reservoir that provide an integrated scheme water supply for the area between and including the City of Greater Geraldton and the towns of  Dongara/Port Denison in the Shire of Irwin.

  • Arrowsmith Groundwater Area

    The Arrowsmith Groundwater Area spans approximately 10,300 km2 of land and currently has a total groundwater availability of around 151 million m3/year. The largest groundwater aquifers occur in the Yarragadee and Parmelia formations that together receive over 80 per cent of the total direct rainfall recharge, although the quality is variable. The Superficial formation is an important resource near the coast, and similarly to the deeper aquifers, the quality and quantity of the groundwater is variable.

    For information on the allocation plan click here.

  • Gascoyne Groundwater Area

    The Gascoyne Groundwater Area extends north to Kalbarri and bounds the Arrowsmith Groundwater Area east to pastoral country. The largest groundwater aquifer occurs in the Yarragadee Formation, which has an estimated yield of 22.5 million m³/year (NACC, 2005). Groundwater from fractured rock aquifers in the eastern, inland part of the region is predominantly saline and poor yielding. This region of the Gascoyne Groundwater Area falls under the Carnarvon Artesian Basin Allocation Plan.

  • Gingin Groundwater Area

    The Gingin Groundwater Area spans over 6,000 km2 of land and has a total groundwater availability of around 207 million m3/year. Usage in the area is high, with 72 per cent of resources allocated (NACC, 2005). Groundwater is generally fresh except in most aquifers along the Darling Scarp in the east, and in the Yarragadee aquifer in the coastal area south of Lancelin. The aquifers containing the largest volumes of accessible groundwater are found within the Superficial, Leederville, Leederville-Parmelia and Yarragadee formations and it is noted that the Leederville and Parmelia formations are currently substantially over allocated (DoW, 2013).

    For information on the allocation plan click here.

  • Gnangara Groundwater Area

    Gnangara Groundwater System plan area is bounded by the Moore River and Gingin Brook River to the north and the Swan River in the south. The Groundwater Area spans over an area of 2,200 square kilometres. Groundwater replenishment of the Gnangara Area is dependent upon rainfall. The Gnangara groundwater systems is made up of four types of aquifers including the Superficial Aquifer, Mirrabooka Aquifer, Leederville Aquifer and Yarragadee North Aquifer. A study on the current condition of these aquifers indicates that there has been substantial decline in groundwater levels observed between 1998 to 2006 in the coastal areas including Guilderton. The decline in groundwater levels is due to a decline in rainfall, increase uptake of groundwater and the Gnangara Pine plantation (DoW, 2014)

    Visit Gnangara Groundwater Systems for more information.

  • Jurien Groundwater Area

    The Jurien Groundwater Area spans over 5,000 km2 of land and has a total groundwater availability of around 84 million m3/year. Groundwater usage is low, with 21 per cent of resources allocated. There are also significant amounts of groundwater available in the Parmelia/Leederville formations. The superficial formation contains important resources near the coast, although the quality and quantity of groundwater is variable (DoW, 2010).

    For information on the allocation plan click here.

  • New Norcia Water Reserve

    New Norcia Water Reserve is situated in the western margin of the Yilgarn Craton. It supplies water to the town of New Norcia. The water reserve is dependent upon direct recharging by rainfall, with approximately 40% of annual rainfall infiltrates into the water reserve. The New Norcia Water Reserve occurs in a shallow paleochannel, therefore this is considered to be vulnerable to contamination (DoW, 2009).

    See the New Norcia Water Reserve drinking water source protection plan for more information.

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