Irrigated agriculture along the banks of the lower Gascoyne River has been undertaken since the early 1900s. Originally growing bananas and vegetables, production has expanded to include many different tropical and temperate crops. In 2012 the value of production exceeded $103 million but has been lower in more recent years due to market fluctuations.
Upon completion, the Gascoyne Food Bowl will deliver three core outcomes:
Sourcing and delivery of an additional 4 gigalitres of water for horticulture
This component aims, through aerial electromagnetic survey data analysis, to identify the potential location, quantity and quality of aquifers to the east of the existing Carnarvon horticultural precinct. Once potential targets have been identified, drilling will begin to establish the soundness of the data and location of suitable water reserves. On completion of the drilling program, a pipeline is to be designed and installed to deliver water to new horticultural precincts.
- Borefield electrification
The electrification component encompasses the existing northern borefield and new borefield. Electricity will be supplied via design and construction of a high voltage (22 000 volt) open aerial power line, the combined length of the northern borefields.
Electrification will lower pumping costs relative to diesel generation currently being used on the northern borefield, and allow the borefield to be fully used. When looped into the southern borefield power supply, it will create a much more consistent and reliable electricity system with fewer disturbances to growers caused by power outages.
- Land development
The final major component is the identification, development and release of about 400 hectares of additional land for horticulture. This is seen as a key driver for the Carnarvon horticultural industry to increase opportunities for existing and new producers to market their produce both domestically and internationally.
For more information about potential land identification conducted as part of the Gascoyne Food Bowl Initiative, download "Gascoyne Food Bowl- Identification of Potential Horticulture Land (PDF)" for more information.