Pindan soils in the La Grange area, West Kimberley: land capability assessment for irrigated agriculture
This report identifies areas of Pindan country along the Great Northern Highway, south of Broome from Roebuck to Mandora, which have high potential for irrigated agriculture. The area contains significant reserves of potable groundwater defined by the La Grange groundwater allocation area, which is based on the surficial Broome Sandstone aquifer.
Over the past 30 years, several small- to medium-scale irrigation developments have been successfully established in the region. The water opportunities project aims to identify and quantify the land and water resources of the region to ensure any future expansion of irrigated agriculture is sustainable and will not have a detrimental impact on other land uses, environmentally sensitive areas, such as groundwater-dependent ecosystems, or areas of traditional cultural heritage.
Pindan soils that are currently used for irrigated agriculture are predominantly deep, red, sandy earths. These soils are well drained to rapidly drained and do not develop a persistent perched watertable during the wet season. These soil characteristics potentially allow for year-round access and cropping.
This land assessment identified over 50 000 hectares of Pindan soils that have a high to fair capability for irrigated agriculture where potable groundwater is within 20 metres. Groundwater is the main limiting resource and if allocated for irrigated agriculture, it should be used sustainably. Its usage should be restricted to land having a high capability for the proposed land use.
Number of Pages
La Grange, Pindan soils, land capability, Broome Sandstone aquifer, irrigated agriculture
Smolinski, H, Galloway, P & Laycock, J, 2016, ‘Pindan soils in the La Grange area, West Kimberley: land capability assessment for irrigated agriculture’, Resource management technical report 396, Department of Agriculture and Food, Western Australia, Perth.
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