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The Ord River Irrigation Area (ORIA) is located in the north-east of the Kimberley region of Western Australia, near the town of Kununurra. The irrigation area was established in 1963 and over time developed to the current extent of 14 000 hectares (ha). The Weaber Plain (Goomig Farmlands) area is located north-north-east of the existing irrigation area, 30km from Kununurra, and has been identified as being suitable for irrigated agriculture for many decades. However, it was not until 2009, with state government support, that the 7400ha project commenced, with construction starting in 2010. State and Australian government environmental approvals required the proponent to install a groundwater monitoring network and develop a groundwater management plan.

The environmental approvals required seasonal monitoring of groundwater to establish baseline groundwater chemistry conditions. The monitoring bores were sampled for up to three years and showed a large variation in water type and water quality across the Weaber and Knox Creek plains.

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Groundwater chemistry, Weaber Plain, irrigation



We dedicate this report to our colleague Arjen Ryder who, with his wife Yvonne, was killed when Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17 was shot down over the Ukraine in July 2014. Arjen undertook two years of monitoring upon which this report is based and also participated in the 2011 drilling program. He worked with enthusiasm and enjoyed his time in the East Kimberley region, making friends of all he met. We thank him and miss him.

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