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State to spend $100m in Margaret River

The state government will spend over $100 million on new water infrastructure in Margaret River and surrounding communities while the Water Corporation will join forces with the locals to carry out an $800,000 water efficiency program.

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Margaret River
The proposal to extract two gigalitres of water per year from the Yarragadee aquifer for Margaret River town water supply does not come without inherent risks. The Yarragadee and the overlying Leederville Formation are in hydraulic communication. This is evidenced by the fact that some two thirds of the recharge into the Yarragadee is estimated to come from rainwater through the Leederville Formation. The Leederville formation, also an aquifer, is in both direct and indirect communication with superficial aquifers and both the Yarragadee and Leederville outcrop at the surface within the shire. The Margaret River cuts through the Leederville formation over a distance of about twelve kilometres. Canebreak and other pools are dependent on groundwater support from the Leederville which in turn relies on hydraulic pressure from the Yarragadee. Recognising there may be some time lag, taking water from the Yarragadee is essentially the same as taking from the Leederville Formation and will exacerbate the impact on the Margaret River. Other streams to the south, including the Blackwood River, incise both the Leederville and Yarragadee Formations and their summer flows depend on water injected from these aquifers. There are wider consequences of taking too much water from these aquifers, not the least the impact on farm bores. Two gigalitres may not be much but it will exacerbate the stress on an already overstretched system.

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