Ti Tree Water Allocation Plan

Introduction

This guide has information on the Ti Tree Water Allocation Plan.

The Ti Tree Water Control District is just over 14,000 square kilometres. 

The district is named for the town of Ti Tree which is about 200km north of Alice Springs, and 300km south of Tennant Creek. Ti Tree has been known for its water by white settlers since the 1880’s. During the construction of the Overland Telegraph Line, Tea Tree Well was constructed and became known for its good supply of water. The local Anmatyerr people have known about this good water for much longer.

The district has a population of about 1,000 people. Almost all water supplies are drawn from groundwater. 

The main economic activities in the region are pastoralism and irrigated horticulture, particularly for table grapes and mangoes. 

About 80% of the population is Aboriginal and mostly from the Central Anmatyerr people.

The Ti Tree Water Control District was declared in 1983. It was one of the first areas developed for irrigated horticulture in Central Australia with the first groundwater extraction license issued in 1977. 

In 1975 Ian Dahlenberg took up 640 acres of the Ti Tree station and established Dahlenberg Horticultural Enterprise which grew grapes and watermelons on Ti Tree Farm. This original farm has since been subdivided between several horticultural operators, and there are now at least two other significant enterprises east of the Stuart Highway which have been developed for horticulture.

For the purposes of water management the district has been divided into four management zones. 

The first Ti Tree Region Water Resource Strategy was finalised in 2002 and was the first water allocation plan for the Northern Territory.

This strategy has undergone a five year review and a revised Ti Tree Region Water Allocation Plan was declared in 2009. The revised plan defines the rules for the sharing and allocation of surface and groundwater in the Ti Tree Water Control District. 

The revised plan also lists key outcomes for the first time which are:

  • to maintain water dependent environmental and cultural values
  • provide good quality water for public water supply, agriculture and horticulture, and for stock and domestic water use
  • to make sure Indigenous people receive economic benefit from water use in the Ti Tree Basin.

The plan was developed following consultation with stakeholders and the local community, including the Ti Tree Water Advisory Committee. 

What the community consultation clearly identified was that it is important to allow use of water for public water supply and horticulture, however it should not be at the expense of the natural environment or cultural values.

The new plan reflects this and for the first time it now incorporates a summary of the environmental and cultural values which need to be preserved in the Ti Tree region. 

It acknowledges that important dreaming trails associated with water, including the Kwaty or Rain Dreaming, and Hailstone and Lightening Dreaming trails, run through Anmatyerr country.

The implementation of the 2009 Water Allocation Plan will assist sustainable management of the Ti Tree Basin Aquifer. It will provide security for water users and define the rules which will enable developments that depend on groundwater to proceed in a sustainable manner. 

The 2009 plan was renewed in 2012 and is due to be reviewed by September 2014. It is anticipated that the review process will begin later in 2013. 

Go to the Northern Territory Government website to see the map and government gazette of the Ti Tree Water Control District.

For more information contact the Water Resources Division on (08) 8999 4830 or email alicewaterplan@nt.gov.au

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Last updated: 28 November 2017