Carnarvon Artesian Basin water management plan

The Carnarvon Artesian Basin water management plan guides how we manage groundwater in the basin.

Plan release information

The Carnarvon Artesian Basin water management plan was released in December 2007.

The Carnarvon Artesian Basin water management plan evaluation statement for 2009 and evaluation statement 2009–2011 reported on implementation.

The Carnarvon Artesian Basin water management plan: Addendum 2011 provides amendments to the plan as a result of our evaluation.

The plan supports the Gascoyne–Murchison Strategy, a regional initiative that aims to achieve more sustainable groundwater use in the Carnarvon Artesian Basin.

Water allocation planning in the Carnarvon Artesian Basin

The Carnarvon Artesian Basin contains the Birdrong aquifer, Western Australia's most geographically extensive artesian aquifer. Artesian groundwater from the Birdrong has historically been used by the pastoral industry but is under increasing pressure from new developments. While the resources of the Birdrong Aquifer are significant, recharge is limited. This means that it needs to be carefully managed to preserve its water quality and ensure sustainability.

Plan area

The Carnarvon Artesian Basin water management plan area is about 540 kilometres north of Perth and covers 115,000 km2. The basin stretches along the coast in the state's Mid West, extending from close to the Murchison River in the south, to the mouth of the Fortescue River in the north.

The area is located within the Gascoyne groundwater area and extends into the Pilbara groundwater area.

Water resources

The main water resource in the area is the Birdrong Sandstone aquifer. From shallowest to deepest, the six main hydrogeological formations are Windalia Radiolarite, Windalia Sand Member, and the Nannyarra, Birdrong, Kopke and Tumblagooda sandstones.

For management purposes, the plan area is divided into two subareas – Zuytdorp/Ningaloo (Gascoyne groundwater area) and part of the Ashburton subarea (Pilbara groundwater area).

Carnarvon Artesian Basic water allocation plan area
Carnarvon Artesian Basin water management plan area

Publications

Carnarvon Artesian Basin water management plan

Carnarvon Artesian Basin water management plan: Evaluation statement for 2009

Carnarvon Artesian Basin water management plan: Evaluation statement 20092011

Carnarvon Artesian Basin water management plan: Addendum 2011

Page reviewed 25 January 2023