The potential impact of irrigated agriculture on groundwater quality in the Rocky Hill Region, Northern Territory
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Alice Springs’ public water supply is currently largely sourced from the Roe Creek borefield, located approximately 15 km south‐southwest of the town, in the north‐eastern section of the Amadeus Basin. However, at current extraction rates, water levels at Roe Creek are expected to decline beyond economical pumping depths by approximately 2050. By this time, it is expected that much of Alice Springs’ public water supply will be derived from a borefield within the Rocky Hill region. NT Portion 4704 was acquired by the Power and Water Corporation (PWC) for this purpose in 1996. Undoolya Rocky Hill Agricultural Block (NT Portion 1476) is located immediately northeast of NT Portion 4704, and the two blocks share a common boundary. Fodder crops have been grown intermittently on the agricultural block under centre pivot irrigation since the 1970s, with intensification of irrigation since 2002 when grapes were planted in the southeast of the block. Currently, there are about 60 ha of irrigated vineyards at this site. Proposals have been developed for expansion of onions onto areas of Undoolya Pastoral Lease, immediately south of the current vineyard development, and a water licence to facilitate this development has been granted.
This publication is copyright. Other than for the purposes of and subject to the conditions prescribed under the Copyright Act RN 1968, no part of it may in any form or by any means (electronic, mechanical, microcopying, photocopying, recording or otherwise) be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system or transmitted without prior written permission. Enquiries should be addressed to the National Centre for Groundwater Research and Training, at Flinders University.