Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development
The Broome Sandstone aquifer is the main aquifer and groundwater resource in the La Grange area, near Broome in the West Kimberley, Western Australia. Land use is dominated by cattle grazing on pastoral stations, dispersed mining and tourism. Irrigated agriculture has developed at a small scale, with about 470 hectares under cultivation in 2014. Groundwater abstraction is licensed under the La Grange groundwater allocation plan (Department of Water 2010) and managed by the Department of Water and Environmental Regulation. The La Grange groundwater allocation area is split into the La Grange North subarea and La Grange South subarea, with groundwater allocation limits of 35 gigalitres per year (GL/y) and 15GL/y, respectively. The volume of water licensed, committed and requested as of October 2016 was 13.15GL/y.
The Department of Agriculture and Food, Western Australia (DAFWA), now part of DPIRD, conducted the four-year La Grange project to help determine the level of irrigated agriculture the aquifer can sustain. This report describes the methods, data analyses and outcomes of a project designed to give a better understanding of the hydrogeological processes of the Broome Sandstone aquifer at La Grange, the interactions between all of its users, and its environmental and cultural assets. As part of the project, DPIRD coordinated development of a bore monitoring network and developed a water balance model to run irrigation scenarios.
Number of Pages
Broome Sandstone aquifer, La Grange area, hydrogeology, water balance modelling, irrigated agriculture
Paul, RJ, Raper, GP, George, RJ, Wright, NJ, Lillicrap, AM & Gardiner, PS 2019, ‘Groundwater investigations to support irrigated agriculture at La Grange, Western Australia: 2013–18 results’, Resource management technical report 398, Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development, Perth.
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