Journal of the Department of Agriculture, Western Australia, Series 4


Water supply, Groundwater, Dams, Water harvesting, Western Australia

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Department of Agriculture surveys have shown that many farms in Western australia's northern wheatbelt have inadequate water supplies. More than 80 per cent of all farms in that area depend soley on groundwater for watering livestock, a much higher percentage than for most other farming areas. Because groundwater salinities have increased in recent years, concern is held for the long-term future of this recource.

In contrast to more southern agricultural areas, farm dams in the northern wheatbelt are relatively uncommon. Only 30 per cent of the existing dams in the northern wheatbelt constitute effective water supplies. More than half of the ineffective dams regularly go dry, caused by those dams being too small and too shallow, or by an inadequate catchment, or both.