The Acting Minister for Environment, Climate Change and Water Security has declared the Georgina Wiso Water Allocation Plan 2023-2031.
This is the first plan for the Georgina and Wiso Basins within the Daly Roper Beetaloo Water Control District.
The plan applies to an area of approximately 155,000 square kilometres, extending about 600km from north to south, and 500 km east to west (the plan area).
The plan area includes the towns of Daly Waters, Elliott and Newcastle Waters and smaller communities of Jangirulu, Likkaparta, Murranji and Wutunugurra.
The plan allocates water from the Cambrian Limestone Aquifer, the most extensive and highest quality groundwater resource in the plan area.
The plan retains water for environment and cultural uses and allocates 210,000 mega litres of water for public drinking water supplies and for development in the region.
The amount of water allocated is less than the replenishment rate and means that during the eight year life of the plan the aquifer storage will continue to increase.
In the plan, allocations for public water supply are prioritised over water for other beneficial uses, protecting the quantity of water for drinking.
Currently there is very limited water use in the plan area, which is predominately for stock and domestic purposes across pastoral leases that cover 85 per cent of the area.
More than 20,000 mega litres per year is allocated to the Aboriginal water reserve for Aboriginal economic development.
The Beetaloo Sub-basin is in the plan area and water for petroleum activities has been capped at 10,000 mega litres per year.
Information about the plan and supporting documents are available on the Georgina Wiso water allocation plan website, available at: https://nt.gov.au/environment/water/management-security/water-control-districts/daly-roper-beetaloo/planning-for-the-georgina-basin
Quotes by DEPWS Water Resources Division Executive Director, Amy Dysart
“The Georgina Wiso Water Allocation Plan has been produced to meet the recommendations of the Scientific Inquiry into Hydraulic Fracturing in the Northern Territory.
“The plan ensures water is prioritised for the environment and cultural purposes and determines how water is shared between beneficial uses.
“The plan presents a comprehensive understanding of the water resource informed by studies undertaken as part of the Strategic Regional Environmental and Baseline Assessment (SREBA).
“The Department looks forward to working with the Traditional Owners of the region as part of an Aboriginal Reference Group to ensure that Aboriginal cultural values and knowledge are understood, key groundwater dependent sites are defined, and specific cultural protections are developed for future inclusion in the plan”.
Department of Environment, Parks and Water Security
Media Contact 0437 915 366
Source: NT Government newsroom