Land and Water Program 2014-18: Completed projects

These are the projects that have been completed under the Land and Water Program 2014-18.

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Kurnturlpara and Warumungu Aboriginal Land (Frewena) – Barkly Tableland

In 2015-16, the Department of Environment and Natural Resources undertook a soil and land suitability assessment on lands owned by Kurnturlpara and Warumungu Aboriginal Land trusts. Locally known as Frewena.

Of the 17,232ha surveyed:

  • 2,490ha identified as moderate capability land and
  • approximately 14,450ha as land of marginal capability.

Further assessment of 400ha of the moderate capability land identified approximately 118ha as suitable for irrigated agricultural.

The Kurnturlpara and Warumungu Aboriginal Land overlie two main aquifers within the Georgina Basin. The 2019 Georgina Basin Groundwater Assessment: Daly Water to Tennant Creek identifies the:

  • Gum Ridge Formation as a regional scale fractured and karstic aquifer and
  • Anthony Lagoon Formation, overlying the Gum Ridge Formation, as numerous stratified intermediate scale, fractured and karstic aquifers.

The Gum Ridge Formation has the best potential for irrigation supplies, but shallower bores within the Anthony Lagoon Formation will produce sufficient yield for small-scale irrigation supplies.

Groundwaters in the Basin range from fresh to saline, but are generally fresher and more suitable for irrigation on the basin margins.

Detailed investigations are recommended to be undertaken, before any major irrigation projects begin. This is to determine the suitability of the local water quality on soil types and crops to be irrigated.

The Kurnturlpara and Warumungu Aboriginal Lands are not within a Water Control District or subject to a Water Allocation Plan. Production bores within these lands do not need a bore construction permit. An extraction license is only needed if the bores are equipped to supply >15l/s.

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North East Bathurst (Tiwi Islands)

In 2014, the Department of Land Resource Management undertook the following at north east Bathurst Island :

  • a land suitability assessment
  • water resource investigation and
  • flora and fauna evaluation.

The aim was to develop baseline information of the bio-physical resources. The study area included:

  • 14,100ha of terrestrial land and
  • 4,700ha of inter tidal environments.

A total of 6,000ha were surveyed as moderately suitable for a range of crops. The availability of water being a limiting factor in the extent and type of crops that would be economically viable.

The biodiversity assessment identified 17 flora and fauna species listed as threatened under Northern Territory and Australian Government legislation. Four of these species are widespread in areas assessed as suitable for agriculture.

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Orange Creek

In 2016-17, the Department of Environment and Natural Resources undertook a soil and land suitability assessment on a portion of the Hugh River Valley within Orange Creek Station.

Of the surveyed 1,664ha surveyed:

  • 680ha was assessed as high capability land and
  • 422ha as moderate capability land.

Of which:

  • approximately 80ha is suitable for agriculture with only minor limitations and
  • 1,100ha suitable with moderate limitations.

Crop type suitability findings show between 71ha and 87ha of land is suitable for irrigated agriculture with only minor limitations. A further 1,043ha to 1,130ha is considered suitable land with moderate limitations.

In 2018-19, a preliminary assessment of groundwater storage in the Cambrian Carbonate Aquifers was undertaken.

These aquifers represent the most productive aquifers at Orange Creek Station and align with the irrigation development area referred to in the soil and land suitability assessment.

The report provides:

  • a preliminary estimate of groundwater storage
  • details of current use and
  • an indication of the maximum permissible total annual extraction rate.

More information

  • Download the Soil and Land Suitability Assessment report (NT Library).
  • Download maps associated with the Soil and Land Suitability report.
  • Download the Groundwater Assessment report (NT Library).
  • View information on existing water licences in the area via the water licensing portal.
  • View survey information on NR Maps.

Tennant Creek West

In 2015-16, the Department of Environment and Natural Resources undertook a soil and land suitability assessment for irrigated agriculture in the Tennant Creek West area.

The investigation was undertaken on Aboriginal land and pastoral leases.  and Traditional Owners.

Of the 57,855ha surveyed:

  • 47,200ha as high capability land and
  • 7,320ha classified as having moderate capability.

Of which:

  • 42,500ha is suitable for tree crops and
  • approximately 48,000ha having potential to support field crops, hay/forage and row crops.

The investigation area is within the Tennant Creek Water Control District (1021.5 kb). Water management rules apply to people wanting to access and use water in the district.

More information

  • Download a map and fact sheet of the Tennant Creek Water Control District.
  • View information on existing water licences in the area via the water licensing portal.
  • Download the Soil and Land Suitability Assessment report (NT Library).
  • Download maps associated with the Soil and Land Suitability report.
  • View survey information on NR Maps

Ti Tree

In 2016-17, the Department of Environment and Natural Resources completed a soil and land suitability assessment for irrigated agriculture in the Ti Tree area.

The project investigated a total of 13,563ha of private and Aboriginal land. Identifying more than 10,000ha as suitable for a range of irrigated agricultural crops.

The investigation area is within the Ti Tree Water Control District. Water management rules apply to people wanting to access and use water in the district.

The Ti Tree Water Allocation Plan sets out the framework for water management in the Ti Tree Water Control District. The plan:

  • describes the water resources in the area
  • quantifies water availability
  • identifies ow water is shared between the various beneficial uses and
  • describes the water management arrangements to protest the environment, cultural values and the access to water by consumptive users.

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Wildman River

In 2015, the Department of Land Resource Management undertook a soil and land suitability investigation for irrigated agriculture in the Wildman River region.

Of the 34,304ha surveyed:

  • 8,994ha was assessed as high class land for irrigated agriculture and
  • 15,000ha having high to moderate land capability.

Complementing this work, a water resource assessment was completed in 2016 to improve understanding of the area’s hydrogeology, including:

  • the extent and properties of the aquifers
  • the regional groundwater flow pattern
  • baseflow characteristics and
  • identification of groundwater dependent ecosystems.

Two main aquifers were identified in the study area. The sand aquifers in Mesozoic/Cenozoic strata and beneath that, the Koolpinyah Dolostone aquifer.

Yield analysis indicates sustainable water use from the palaeovalley aquifers within the southern Mesozoic/Cenozoic strata at 2,000ML/yr and 4,000ML/yr from the Dolostone aquifer.

  • Download the soil and land suitability assessment report via NT Library
  • Download the water resource assessment report via the NT Library
  • Download maps created for these assessments
  • View survey information on NR Maps

Last updated: 19 July 2019

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