Bonaparte Plains: land and water assessment for irrigated agriculture

We conducted land and groundwater resource availability and risk investigations to determine the potential for developing irrigated agriculture on 30 000 hectares of Cockatoo Sands on the Bonaparte Plains north of Kununurra. This work was done in partnership with the Department of Water and Environmental Regulation, Geoscience Australia and stakeholders at Carlton Hill Station and Miriuwung and Gajerrong (MG) Corporation.

Soil and land capability

An important component of the Implementing Bonaparte Plains project was to undertake investigative drilling and to install monitoring and test-pumping bores to help determine the potential for groundwater supply and development risks in the area.

To do this, we initially undertook a desktop review and field reconnaissance of existing bores, mineral exploration drilling, outcrop geology and groundwater outcrop within the area in early 2013. We discovered that the available information for Cockatoo Sands area was not at a suitable scale.

We are conducting detailed agricultural land and water resource assessments – using airborne geophysics, soil and water analyses and groundwater investigations to assess the aquifers – to inform decisions on developing irrigated agriculture on the Bonaparte Plains.

Contact information

Don Bennett
+61 (0)8 9780 6298
Page last updated: Friday, 8 February 2019 - 9:36am