A $5.1 million groundwater investigation to determine how much water is available between Gingin and Moora is part of a bid to keep water sources sustainable.
The Department of Water and Environmental Regulation investigation will include building up to 21 bores across the Dandaragan Plateau to provide data on the quality, quantity and flow direction of groundwater in the area.
The department will use results to establish if there is more water available for agriculture and industry, and where to access it.
The investigation will also help manage water use around Gingin Brook, which relies on groundwater to support its flow and has experienced up to a 40 per cent decline in stream flow since 2010.
“This is a high value horticultural area with a large number of groundwater and surface water licences,” Water Minister Dave Kelly said.
“Its groundwater dependant brooks and streams also support some of the most diverse populations of native fish in the south-west of the State.
“This work will give us the right data at a local scale to continue to manage water for irrigation as well as the environment.
“It will also identify potential areas where more water can be taken from, or where increased use is sustainable, and complements previous groundwater investigations in the Dinner Hill and Gingin areas.”
The drilling program follows a 7500sq km aerial electromagnetic survey last year, and is part of the department’s State Groundwater Investigation Program.