Publication Date









In the Newman region, DPIRD commissioned an assessment of the potential for managed aquifer recharge (MAR) near Newman using surplus water resulting from mine dewatering as the water supply for irrigated agriculture. The objectives of the MAR assessment were to:

  • identify focus area for MAR feasibility assessment within the initial larger area of interest for MAR
  • assess the viability of MAR with mine dewater near Newman to support development of irrigated agriculture, in keeping with national and state MAR guidelines
  • identify key risks associated with MAR with mine dewater for irrigation supply, and identify knowledge/investigation required to adequately assess risks and define preventative measures to support approval for construction and commissioning (or complete pre-commissioning residual risk assessment).

This report is presented in two parts. The first part describes the Fortescue River alluvial fan groundwater system and the data available for the risk assessment. Data was sourced from the WA Government and BHP Billiton along with that produced as part of the TAP project. For the completeness of this report, information previously reported by Schmid et al. (2022) and Donn et al. (2023) is summarised in this section. The second part uses the available data to assess the risks of potential MAR opportunities in the area. Due to data limitations, a broader scale regional risk assessment was undertaken rather than a site-specific risk assessment.

Number of Pages



airborne electromagnetic survey, hydrogeology, managed aquifer recharge, Pilbara, groundwater modelling


Agriculture | Geology | Hydrology | Sustainability | Water Resource Management


Transforming Agriculture in the Pilbara (TAP) is the Western Australian Government initiative aiming to identify a practical and achievable vision for medium-to-large-scale irrigated agricultural production in the Pilbara using water from mine dewatering operations (‘mine dewater’) and other in-situ water resources. The Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development (DPIRD) has identified the Newman region as a likely region for future irrigation developments, subject to water availability and soil suitability. DPIRD and CSIRO have jointly assessed the feasibility of using managed aquifer recharge to store mine dewater in the Fortescue River alluvial fan aquifer in the Newman region. The aim of recharging the aquifer is to provide water supply for irrigated agriculture.


Maps are not included as part of the complete document download. If this report contains a map, it will be available in the individual parts list below.

This file is 18.7 MB. Files over 3MB may be slow to open. For best results, right-click and select "save as..."