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In 2008 the Ord Irrigation Expansion Project was approved by the Western Australian Government to develop irrigated agriculture on the Weaber Plain. By mid-2014 construction of almost all of the water supply, drainage, access, monitoring and other infrastructure for the 7400ha Goomig Farmlands development had substantially been completed. An important concern is the effect the Goomig Farmlands development may have on the water quality of the downstream lower Keep River aquatic environment, particularly as it relates to threatened species that inhabit or may inhabit the area. Possible increases in salinity, nutrients, suspended sediment, heavy metals and farm chemicals delivered in run-off are therefore of primary interest.

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Goomig Farmlands, Keep River, water quality


To the memory of Arjen Ryder This report is dedicated to the memory of Arjen Ryder, Senior Technical Officer for the Department of Agriculture and Food, Western Australia. Arjen and his wife, Yvonne, were killed in the Malaysian Airlines flight MH17 tragedy over Ukraine on 17 July 2014. Arjen assisted with the field work described in this report including collecting surface water samples from the lower Keep River area. He was a trusted, hard-working colleague and friend who was also involved in significant hydrological and salinity related research and extension over many years, to the benefit of agriculture in Western Australia. He was a very fine man indeed and is sadly missed.

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