A number of the recent GWG Northern Valley News articles are now available below.

They follow this list and can be downloaded also.

Northern Valley Newsletter March 2020
Recharge and Allocation Limits Influencing Gingin’s Wetlands

Northern Valley Newsletter Mid February 2020
How to view Gingin’s Brook Flow Data
How to view the DWER Water Register

Northern Valley Newsletter January 2020
Water Regulator Keen to Protect Gingin Wetlands
Part 1 of a 2 part discussion

Northern Valley Newsletter February 2020
Water Regulator Keen to Protect Gingin Wetlands
Part 2 of a 2 part discussion

Northern Valley News 2019 December
Five Million Dollars spent to understand Nature’s Intent

Northern Valley Newsletter March 2020

This can be downloaded below, or read on.

Recharge and Allocation Limits Influencing Gingin’s Wetlands

DWER has informed the Gingin community through the Gingin Water Group that the weather pattern of the region is changing in a way that suggests this may be a permanent feature rather than a cycle.

DWER informs us of reduced annual rainfall with a changed pattern towards more spring and summer rain with less winter volumes.

This is in a general climate shift towards warmer average temperatures.

Local observation for the last ten or more years has noted lower stream flows being recorded at the three local gauging stations which measure flow in the Lennard brook and eastern and western sections of the Gingin brook.

Many streamlines have ceased to flow at all during the summer six months.

Can the wetland ecologies associated with these local brooks be sustained in a healthy state if these rainfall , temperature and flow changes continue , and even worsen , into the future as a new normal pattern as science is seeming to predict.

Concurrent with the reducing water flows have been what appears to be a continual granting of extraction licenses.

A Guide to Managing Water for the Environment” was prepared for the High Level Panel on Water as part of The Australian Water Partnership with theCommonwealth Environmental Water Officein 2018.

This paper may be written to guide national and multi country decision making but its core message is just as relevant on the relatively micro decision making scale we face in Gingin regarding how to allocate successfully the scarce and changing water resource.

That core message is to focus on the social and economic values of maintaining a healthy wetland system. Determine the Environmental requirement of that wetland system and secure it.

If the wetland feature is maintained in a healthy state in a sustainable way then the social and economic values that are derived from that healthy system may be satisfied also in a sustainable way.

An allocation limit is the annual volume of water set aside for farmers to use from the annual recharge of a water resource. This amount does not include water to be left in the system (Figure 2). For administrative purposes, the allocation limit is divided into components for:

• water that is available for licensing:

− general licensing ie. horticulture and water intensive agriculture or industry

− public water supply licensing

• water that is exempt from licensing ie.domestic, home garden, stock needs

• water that is reserved for future public water supply.

The department uses allocation limits to manage resources sustainably while maintaining security to individual licence entitlements. Water for environmental and social needs(eg Granville park) is not part of the allocation limit. Sufficient water must be left in the ground to maintain the integrity of the aquifer or surface system.

Figure 2 Total recharge comprises the allocation limit (and its components) and
water that is not for use.

Gingin Water Group has urged DWER to urgently address the RECHARGE characteristics of the various water storage aquifers across the Gingin region. Particularly those where the total volume of already allocated water exceeds the allocation limit originally calculated for that local water source. All surface water zones and many of the ground water areas are near or at this point. In the diagram above there is no or little water available for licensing , or worse a water “debt” has occurred in those areas.

In areas where ground water supplies water for the surface brooks and streams particular attention needs to be made to ensure that this ground water recharge does not dry up. It has already started to happen in some areas and as a consequence the Brook habitats are under threat.

As annual rainfall reduces and its distribution changes to hotter months less water will enter the soil and soak deep enough to completely replace what has been taken by humans, used by the vegetation, soaked deeper into the soil or evaporated.

The only way to address this imbalance is to reduce the human take, or clear the vegetation.

The extent of this imbalance is not evenly spread across the Gingin water district. Areas where wetland features are changing and streamlines and brooks are drying or vegetation is dying indicate areas not being recharged.

DWER is working hard to address this growing imbalance of extraction versus recharge. Unfortunately it is hampered by lack of funding and in some cases outdated water laws.

An example of a little understood very local wetland system is Red Gully Creek just north of the Gingin Brook catchment.

This stream system arises from similar soils to the Gingin, Moondah and Lennard Brooks. Water flows all year round in most parts to cross the Brand highway at Red Gully road. The streamline courses down through the East Moore river national park to help recharge Beermullah lake, Mungala brook and end in the Gingin Brook. The system is not particularly visible but supports significant biodiversity not possible in habitat that is not constantly moist.

It would be a regional travesty if this feature was damaged because DWER did not fully understand the current recharge characteristics of that locality or was able to blame an outdated Water Act for its inability to control human use of the surface water flowing through. It would be a pity if our local government did not see it as their duty to intervene to protect a local environmental necessity for the biodiversity it can contribute to the greater system .

Gingin Water Group working for the Gingin community.

Northern Valley Newsletter Mid February 2020

This can be downloaded below, or read on.


The volume of water flowing through Gingin’s brooks and streams is fundamental to the health of the wider wetland system so valued by owners, residents and visitors.

DWER has three monitoring stations located at weirs built at strategic points providing constant real time flow data. Two on Gingin brook( in the town site and at Neergabby) and one on Lennard brook.

As part of the ongoing effort to understand the water requirements of the system the Department is assessing the health and accuracy of these monitoring sites.

Late in January the Gingin town site weir was investigated. This is a reasonably complicated job taking several days. A temporary synthetic wall was inserted above the weir so that the structural integrity of the site could be examined in a dewatered state. Brook flow did not cease . Water was pumped around the weir into the channel.

After data analysis an assessment report will recommend any repair works.

The community will be kept informed of this and similar work on the other two weirs through notifications to Gingin Water Group.

Public access to the flow data and the plethora of historic borehole and streamflow figures is available on the DWER website as is information on water licences and allocation availability across the Gingin region.

What follows is an easy to follow process to access that data.

How to view Gingin’s Brook Flow Data

Google “River Monitoring Stations”. Select the WA result. You will get a list of this states stations.

Gingin’s numbers are 617058, 617165 and 617003. Brockman river is monitored at 616006.

Selecting the number will give you a real time graph. Selecting the station name will provide a host of historical flow data.

Selecting the “Map” option at the top of the station list page will take you deeper into the Water Information Reporting section on the DWER website. Zoom into the Gingin area to view bore data available. Press on the black dots for details.

How to view the DWER Water Register

Google “Water Register of WA” and select the “Water Register” link from the DWER water register page.

On the map of Australia that appears zoom into the Gingin area and click on a point you think is Gingin.

Follow the roads etc to locate your property. Properties with ground water licences are hashed in brown. Blue is for surface water .

Press on any property with cross hatching and details will appear on the left of screen.

Resource details and licence details on the selected property are listed. Select “Resources” or “Licenses” as required.

Easy to understand explanations appear on the left to explain the symbols and water sources described.

DWER supplied several photos of the recent operations at the Gingin weir.

Gingin Water Group working for the Gingin Community

Northern Valley Newsletter January 2020

Water Regulator Keen to Protect Gingin Wetlands

Part 1 of a 2 part discussion . Continued in the next issue. See below

Gingin Water Group working for the Gingin community

This can be downloaded below, or read on.

Recently a team of DWER scientists met Gingin Water Group at Gingin to observe the town’s much valued wetland features and boardwalk. An overall perspective of the Gingin and Lennard Brook systems were viewed from Molecap Hill.

DWER staff discussed their current program to drill deep monitoring bores across the Gingin Dandaragan plateau . The aim is to understand the water resource close to the surface which feeds the region’s brooks and streams and provides water to satisfy the environmental and agricultural demand. All the unlicensed water comes from this shallow aquifer.

With the increasing demand for larger quantities of horticultural water by farmers on the Plateau DWER is drilling these observation bores to a depth well into the Parmelia Leederville resource in an effort to better understand the quality and quantity of horticultural water stored there.

The Gingin community has consistently told the Shire and local political agencies that the Gingin , Lennard, Moondah and associated Brooks ,streams and creeks , lakes and swamps are most treasured green features of the Gingin landscape. This collective underpins the type of rural lifestyle residents expect of the region.

The wetland feature supports an important and endangered biodiversity which stretches from the Plateau down to and across the Swan coastal plain to join the southern part of the Moore river and connect with the sea as the Moore River estuary at Guilderton.

Collectively the entire system is unique and must be protected at all costs.

The Department of Water and Environmental Regulation( DWER) is well aware of its responsibilities towards achieving this end.

This most recent visit is a continuation in their aim to include the community in the process.

Gingin Water Group, since its formation over seven years ago, has been the main conduit between DWER and the local community. GWGs aim is to continue to focus the DWER organisation, the Gingin Shire, and associated political and environmental agencies on the importance of an equitable sharing of the regions water assets .

Local landholders and residents have continually been informed of the issues and urged to support the water preservation efforts.

This latest visit is further achievement in the advocacy influence of GWG.

An unknown effect of the changing weather pattern across Gingin, resulting in a dryer winter and wetter spring with overall less annual rainfall in an environment which is hotter, is the influence on the recharge of local water assets.

Recharge is of particular importance in subareas that provide water to surface features that , collectively, form our unique wetland features.

Water capture on the Dandaragan and Gingin plateau is critical.

DWER aknowledged in the Gingin Ground Water Allocation Plan of 2015 that its knowledge base on the plateau was deficient.

Of particular concern was its understanding of the Mirrabooka aquifer. This is the land feature producing all the farmland , bushland , hills and valleys of the Gingin and Dandaragan plateaus. It is separated from the coastal plain in the west and the Darling range in the east by two geological fault lines the Gingin and Darling scarps.

This is where the rainfall is caught , stored and conveyed to the many brooks, creeks and streams that carry excess water down onto the coastal plain and across to the sea at Guilderton.

Nature has formed the ecologies of this wetland depending on the soil types and ground level.

These environments have been greatly changed since farming commenced and became more intensified. What we see now is a collective of remnant features(brooks,creeks,lakes and swamps) , many of which are well worth preserving. Some are near pristine while other parts would benefit from extensive, but expensive repair.

The water regulator(DWER) is warning us that the changing weather pattern is influencing our regions water cycle in a way which reduces water availability.

It is in no-one’s interest to disregard this advice.

Northern Valley Newsletter February 2020

Water Regulator Warns Gingin to Protect its Wetlands

Part 2 of a 2 part discussion. Part 1 in last Issue (above)

This can be downloaded below, or read on.

DWER warns Gingin Brook is losing connection with underlying groundwater aquifers. Gingin’s wetland system is one of State’s river systems most impacted by the drying climate.

Their scientists are warning us that the changing weather pattern is influencing our regions water cycle in a way which reduces water availability.

As a community we must all make an effort to understand where the reduced supply will affect us personally and take steps to adapt our behaviour and farming to it.

This may mean reduced licence allocations in some areas. It may mean changing long held farming practises to reduce water demand. It may mean fencing a wetland feature from grazing , which may involve alternative watering points or even alternative bore sites.

The water problem must become a regional community issue.

DWER’s advice is that it will not go away. Water availability will not return to historic levels.

Each member of the community and property owner must prepare now for their future in Gingin. They are advised to learn the skills to change and adapt to the dryer future.

Education and advocacy is the key to understanding and promoting the adaptive measures available.

Many parts of this system are still in good condition. The photo shows a lovely permanent pool in the Gingin Brook at Neergabby. Owners are advised to recognise those parts and develop strategies to build resilience into what exists so that these ecologies can adapt as the region dries and maintain the biodiversity so important for the whole system. The pool shown is in danger. The summer brook flow has ceased in this part. Landholders must collectively take action to allow the natural features to adapt.

This process takes time , skill and effort. Maybe decades.

A strong united and educated Gingin Water Group would appear a logical advantage to help carry this message into the local community from the wide variety of government and industry organisations providing it.

Strong membership commitment and financial support must follow along with the offer of suitable leadership at committee level.

The organisation has only seen one president. That president is now retiring.

Gingin Water Group is in good shape. It is well respected by DWER and the other decision makers operating in Gingin’s water space.

With the dismantling by Gingin Shire Council of their Water Advisory Committee the link between the region’s water problem, Local Government and the State’s water regulator has been lost. This, at the most crucial stage.

Gingin Water Group must take up the challenge. It must develop a working relationship with Local Government to connect the landholders and residents to the variety of assistance and advice available. It must be funded sufficiently on an ongoing basis to afford to use the various expertise of the organisations already functioning close to Gingin.

A discussion paper recently submitted to DWER describes the water issues underlying concerns of the Gingin community . Its content is summarised… “Gingin Water Group on Recharge and Allocation Limits Influencing Gingin’s Wetlands”

Gingin Water Group working for the Gingin Community

This paper will be discussed over the next few issues of NV News.

Visit and post photos and comments on the Gingin Water Group Face Book page or email those photos to Don’t forget to supply the: what,where,when,who and permission to use details.

Northern Valley Newsletter 2019 December

Five Million Dollars spent to understand Nature’s Intent

This can be downloaded below, or read on.

During the preparation of the Gingin Groundwater Allocation Plan the Department of Water (now DWER) recognised the importance of better understanding how the Gingin Dandaragan Plateau captured, stored and conveyed water within its confines. It was important to know more accurately the interaction between the close-to-surface soils and the various creeks and brooks that originate on the plateau.

Many environmentally important water dependant ecosystems require a water supply to remain viable. Much of the farming in this area is grazing and pasture related. Sufficient water must be allocated for that purpose. Recently more intensive agriculture has required the use of much larger quantities of water and often from deeper aquifers.

The Regulator needed to know how these increasingly diverse uses were interacting with each other, if at all. All this in a drying local climate with increasing water demand.

To this end DWER undertook a deep bore drilling program known as the East Midlands Project. The DWER considered the need so important it budgeted $5 million to the project.

A total of 27 bores were sunk to a total depth of 5,438 metres in an area north of Gingin bounded by Brand Highway and Bindoon Moora Road and from Moondah Brook to Gillingarra. Nineteen of these went deep into the Leederville aquifer, varying between 100m and 300m each. Each bore was soil type logged every 10m. All these samples will be stored, analysed and described. All bores were screened to the lower aquifer and sealed. Water quality and yield was determined and each bore was fitted with a data logger. None of the bores will be used for actual extraction.

One of the two hydrologists responsible for this project is experienced in geophysical bore logging techniques. All these bores were logged in this manner, as well as in the traditional way. The extra data collected is complicated, and expensive to obtain, but once analysed will complement the local data obtained using two airborne electromagnetic resonance (EMR) surveys conducted earlier.

DWER also undertook an earlier very deep bore project involving 12 bores into the Yarragadee aquifer west of Brand Highway and a series of investigations to assess the health of Gingin and Lennard Brooks. Comprehensive presentations of the findings of these plus the EMR surveys were presented by DWER at a public meeting organised by the Gingin Water Group in October 2018.

Technical details are available on the DWER website or can be accessed by contacting Gingin Water Group on

Community Waterway Monitoring project
Invitation for Landholder Participation

Gingin Water Group(GWG) has worked quietly over the past four years to understand and track the way the Department of Water(DOW) controls the use of water within the ground and surface systems across the Gingin region.It has made many submissions and organised public forums as well as presented local issues to the DOW.

GWG must remain effective to allow the community an ongoing voice in the way our water is allocated across the full range of users. Particularly so as the pressures on the use of water increase.

The most pressing local issue where GWG can be of immediate benefit to the community is the need to gather and collate an ongoing set of reliable data on the health of the greater Gingin Brook system. GWG has already commenced this monitoring and is set to take the 3rdround of readings at 20 sites used in the past by the DOW . The aim is for 2 monthly readings initially to build a baseline of data , then reduce to 4 per year. All data to be professionally collected and acceptable for DOW and community interpretation.

To be more meaningful to farmers and the community generally the data must accurately reflect the current situation.

At this point it does not.

Most of the system is in private ownership , and government agencies are not inclined to venture there , due in part to the prohibitive cost to them.

The system is vast and varied with differing functions and uses . However , each landholder is well aware that his bit is just part of a greater whole , which needs a greater level of understanding if it is to pass successfully to our offspring.

Landholders with an interest in caring for this system are invited to help GWG build the database of waterway conditions across the system. The focus will be on the following areas:

  • Mungala brook catchment including the Red Gully creeks and Whitfield brook
  • Gingin brook, Moondah brook and Wowra brook and Lennard brook in the east
  • Quinn brook
  • Gingin brook to the west
  • South Moore river before and after it joins with Gingin brook and to the ocean

Project Partners

Gingin Water Group will collect and collate the data . Gingin Shire and Moore Catchment Council have provided the monitoring meter.DOW and Chittering LCDC will provide input and training.Northern Agricultural Catchment Council( NACC) will fund a participant landholder explanation forum and provide an explanation of short and long term goals . NACC officers and the GWG will explain how each landholder’s personal data and any photo monitoring will be protected and kept private.

Description of data collection

Each site will be selected in consultation with the landholder to represent the region chosen.It will be described using a standardised form for future comparison. It may be photographed using a program which allows exact reproduction over time . This operates from a mobile phone and is ideal to involve the landholder’s children in the process. Water monitoring is basic but scientifically instructive over time with proper analysis and repeatability. Parameters such as temperature, pH, oxygen content, salinity and turbidity will be collected. No water will be taken off the site. Chemical analysis is expensive and not necessary at this stage of the project.

Monitoring personnel

Currently monitoring is carried out primarily by 2 GWG committee members. Rodger Walker is a NACC regional NRM field officer and Lorraine is a local resident and waterways monitoring scientist (using borrowed equipment) volunteering her time. It is expected more landholders and community members will offer to become involved in this process , though this is by no means necessary to have your section monitored.

The most important thing landholders can do is

offer to become involved in a project fundamental to understanding and tracking this changing system. Many can bring a lifetime of personal local observations to the program. The time is well overdue when this collective experience needs recording and consideration.

Interested? Then contact

David Rickson 0427 612 918 ,

Sue Pedrick 0467 243 238 ,

Community Waterway Monitoring project
“Join us to monitor the health of our precious waterway”

Project Goals

Monitor the environmental health of this complex waterway system

  1. Build on and further establish baseline data, with a focus on the summer season brook ecology
  2. Identify areas and issues for further landcare works
  3. Assess the effectiveness of previous landcare works
  4. Understand better the waterway’s ecology
  5. Build community partnerships and sharing of information
  6. Protect and improve water quality
  7. Find ways to buffer the waterway to the effects of climate change and declining flows
  8. Inform landholders and the wider community on the current health of the waterway and the ecosystem services it provides
  9. Raise awareness of the Gingin Brook system to the wider community
  10. Identify priority works for community grant programs
  11. Enhance the area’s biodiversity and productivity

For further information, to get involved or to nominate your property as a site
Please contact David Rickson (Chairman GWG)

Summary of tour of Geo Technical survey site of Empire Oil Company
Wannamal West Road / Boonanarring ( July 2013)

On Thursday June 6th 2013 I was given a tour and explanation of the 3D Seismic survey being conducted for Empire Oil and Gas NL  managed by Terry Grocke.

On the day of the visit the onsite project had virtually finished, with the contractor’s equipment being recovered and packed for transport . The camp which held up to 60 people was about to be dismantled.

The project involved recording seismic data over an area of approximately 80 sq.kms with 23 in the Boonanarring nature reserve.   Approx 1,600 shotholes were drilled, 10-15m deep with no casing installed. Each hole was loaded with a 1 or 2kg explosive charge and backfilled to surface with graded blue metal and drill cuttings (soil).  The shot holes (seismic energy source) were located in a predetermined grid of north-south lines, Line spacing 400m, distance between holes, 50 or 100m.  and monitored by nearly 6,000 small, portable electronic devices, ‘nodes’, capable of the most accurate measurement of acoustic energy, time and position.

Shotholes were detonated one-at-a-time. Generated by the ‘shot’, acoustic energy radiated hemispherically into the subsurface.  Reflected seismic signal was recorded, amplified, digitized and  stored in memory at surface by the nodes.  For personnel on the surface, detonations were undetectable at any distance greater than about 50m from the shothole.

Immediately following detonation each shot point location was checked again, to be securely filled and were virtually invisible. I am convinced each site would be difficult to detect after one year.

The nodes were collected and returned to base where the recorded seismic data was  downloaded in a mobile ‘harvester’ (caravan full of computer hardware). After preliminary assessment the data will be sent to a specialised contractor for detailed processing which will result in a ‘data cube’ to be analysed and interpreted by geophysicists and geologists to identify possible reservoirs of natural gas or oil.  The zone of interest in this area is typically 3, 500 – 4,000m(+) deep.

The technique used was explained as being unique to Australia for several reasons. It took advantage of the most advanced technology available. Empire Oil and Gas seemed to be making a deliberate effort to impress on  the authorities and local community  its intention to use worlds best practise techniques to assess and develop the gas deposits of the region in the most ecologically sensitive way possible.

The use of helicopters to deliver seismic equipment including portable seismic drilling rigs into the field minimised the environmental footprint. This equipment was then lowered into place using a ‘long-line’.  Helicopters needed to land at base only to refuel.

Personnel walked between sites rather than driving to predetermined locations.  Bentonite clay was the preferred drilling fluid additive. Drilling fluid also contained a prescribed dose of fungicide to combat possible transport of die-back spore. Special mixing techniques had to be developed to adapt this to the airborne system used. Vehicular traffic through neighbouring farms was kept to a minimum and on existing and approved access roads only. Bio-security hygiene protocols were observed and logged.  Vehicle travel into the Reserve was limited to approved and specific access roads only and under prescribed dry soil conditions.

It was explained that the region being investigated was between 3500 and 4500m below ground. Of particular interest were regions of relatively porous sandstone which may contain gas under pressure.  I was told the gas deposits are much deeper than the water rich layers exploited for agriculture and human consumption.

Although Terry was not qualified to speak on the technicality of the existing gas field he did give me some brief of his understanding of the current situation.

There are two gas production wells existing at a single site just to the south of Wannamal west road, at the Brand highway end. They are fenced on a footprint of less than a quarter of an acre. Visually less intrusive than a small tank or stock trough. I would be happy to have them on my farm.  Stock would graze to the fence.  No sound or smell. I could not reasonably argue any water aquifers down to the Yarragadee  would be damaged.

The gas wells draw from a region around 4000m deep. One well goes straight down, the other goes vertical then horizontally to source. The explanation of their construction was not technical however it was obvious the most modern techniques  were used in an effort to construct bores which would be as safe as science could currently demand. I would like a more detailed explanation of the procedures and chemicals used to achieve what I observed and the insurances provided  to cover their lifelong safety, and what happens  beyond that time . There was no sign that large quantities of water and chemicals had been used in this procedure which would need to be kept in dams for settling. I did not see any. At the end of the well’s life it would be sealed with concrete and the hydrocarbon flow  blocked off . I would have liked more details of this process but appreciate it could only follow the strictest guidelines of the regulatory authorities.

The gas flows to the surface under pressure and is piped to the small processing facility which was not explained to me in much detail. It obviously separated the oil which was stored on site and trucked to market. Water was also extracted and  allowed to evaporate in a small lined dam. No sign of smell or oily condensate . No noise or excessive movement. No flaming burnoff.

The cleansed gas was piped in a buried line some kilometres to the west and injected into the Dampier to Bunbury pipeline.

My thanks to Empire Oil and Gas NL  for providing access to the site.
David Rickson
Chairman Gingin Water Group Inc

Newsletter 2 ( January 2013)

Annual General Meeting The inaugural AGM of the Gingin Water Group will be held on Wednesday March 6th at 7pm in the Granville centre committee room. This will be an open public meeting where a panel of experts will give a short talk based on their water experience and the importance of a local community based organisation . A quorum of members must be in attendance to ensure the GWG is manned for the next year. The current Committee is willing to restand but will only do so if there is sufficient demand.

Issues and Comments for the Committee. Form on website.
At the December meeting of the management committee it was decided that it is time the GWG changed its focus from water licensing  matters to become more of a community conduit to some of the major industries and intensive farming  operations that  have the potential to influence the water cycle at a local level. These developments often take years to come into being and then their effects to the water may not become noticable for years after that. The local community needs to keep an official line of communication  open to all these developments so that a trusting and educative relationship can ensure , and hopefully problems foreseen and addressed.
For this approach to be effective the community need to send its thoughts and issues to the Committee.
There is a form to do this on . Download the form  fill it in and  email it back . Attach pictures and charts , maps etc which can be used to form a local  baseline set of  water data against which we and future committees can measure any changes  going forward.

Our ability to track , understand and  control  changes in  our LOCAL water cycle is only as strong as the local community’s desire to get involved. Your GWG  committee needs local  information  and encouragement……NOW.

Communications commenced with proponents of Minerals Sands operation and Gingin Regional Landfill firm
In response to the move to establish a local community presence in the large developments that are taking place in our water cycle the GWG Committee has had preliminary discussions with both of the above firms.
Image Resources have  large mineral sand mining tenements in and around Gingin. They propose extensive mining , initially at their Boonoonaring site , and if successful continuing for many years. The potential to influence local water is considerable . Rigorous science and modelling is being undertaken in these  early stages to ensure that the industry can continue safely. At our December meeting the Managing Director encouraged the GWG initiative and promised full access to their monitoring and development program.
Similar discussions with   Chris Griffen of Veolia Environmental Services were welcomed and similar assurances were given  that GWG would be given similar full access to the monitoring and development process leading up to and well beyond the establishment of the Gingin regional landfill at Fernview.

Both these developments sit on top of the sands of the Mirrabooka aquifer which provide the mound springs that charge the Gingin and Moondah Brooks , and further south the Lennard Brook , as well as some important water licenses out of the superficial aquifer in that north eastern region . Our strong relationship with the scientists of the Dept of Water lead us to believe that the DoW does not have the understanding it would like of the recharging of  surface water in that area , particularly as it  works in the drying climate we have.
GWG can play an important part in the process , BUT ONLY IF local farmers supply baseline , and even historical , information about the water levels on their properties.
The DoW does not have the local data in this area.

Gingin Surface Water Allocation Plan
Remember this plan? It was released in April 2011. This was before the formation of GWG. Gingin had no local organisation capable of  following the development of this report , which is so fundamental to the social well being of Gingin residents. Imagine living without the many freshwater brooks and streams which run through our land.
Chittering Landcare did make a submission commenting on the  insufficient amount of water allocated for the benefit of the environmental assets  attached to these surface water sources.
The Report concluded that no further water licenses would be issued from the surface water , and in fact many of the sources had been OVER allocated and measures were being taken to reduce the water take.
Since the reports release there has been serious drying of the twelve surface water resources described  with some parts now completely dry and most others , if not all, showing the lowest flows ever.

The DoW  has a legal obligation , written into the Report , to evaluate the Surface water  plan’s success on an annual basis. The process of evaluation is clearly defined on page 21 of the report .

GWG views very seriously the fact that this first evaluation has not yet been done . This is particularly concerning to the local community considering the low flows of the summer of  2011(the year of the report, but NOT considered in the report) , lower again in 2012 and due to be the lowest ever in 2013.
This alone is sufficient reason to attend the AGM  to ensure you set up a community organisation  capable of  existing and functioning well into the future.
Go to and press the direct link to the Department of Water  site.This  opens at the Gingin groundwater section and read down the page to the link to the Surface Water Report.Read page 21!

Gingin  Groundwater Allocation Plan
Gingin Water Group was set up and Incorporated in  part to follow the development and release of this ground water plan. The Committee is very well qualified to oversee the work of the chairman  to develop the understandings of the science involved and build up the relationships required to have an input , on behalf of the community, in the attempt to address local water issues.
An NRM grant of  $15,000 granted by the Northern Agricultural Catchment Council , administered by the Moore Catchment Council , to allow GWG to make  a submission , on behalf of the local community , to this Water Allocation Report. Part of the grant was to be used for purposes of public communication and education in the process . The website WWW.GINGINWATER.ORG.AU  was set up to be the main facilitator  for the information flow.
Come to the AGM and tell us how you want the site improved.

The Groundwater Plan has NOT BEEN released despite being years overdue.
The 15K grant cannot be extended into the next financial year and the Groundwater Plan will not be released in draft form before the election.
The local community deserves an explanation in a region which is  experiencing serious local water table reductions and surface flow restriction.
I have received reports of  farmers bores and soaks actually drying up!
This sort of information needs to be recorded on a local register. Do not be afraid of  admitting to this . Do not assume that winter rains will resolve the situation and do not accept this as the norm.
Collectively there must be a plan to help you. Are a few deep communal bores the answer. Who pays? Whose fault the Gnangara mound leakage problem  reducing water south of Gingin Brook road?
Attend the AGM   to strengthen the voice of your Gingin Water Group Inc. 

Newsletter 1 ( July 2012)