This assessment and related data examines water resources in the Tanami – Timor Sea Coast region in 2009–10 and over recent decades. Seasonal variability and trends in modelled water flows, stores and levels are considered at the regional level. Information on water use is also provided for selected urban centres and irrigation areas. It begins with an overview of key data and information on water flows, stores and use in the region in recent times followed by a brief description of the region. Water quality, which is important in any water resources assessment, is not addressed.
At the time of writing, suitable quality controlled and assured surface water quality data from the Australian Water Resources Information System (Bureau of Meteorology 2011a) were not available. Groundwater and water use are only partially addressed for the same reason. In future reports, these aspects will be dealt with more thoroughly as suitable data become operationally available.
Key data and information
The assessment presents the 2009–10 annual landscape water flows and the change in accessible surface water storage in the Tanami – Timor Sea Coast region. The region experienced above average annual rainfall and evapotranspiration for 2009–10 and the relatively high levels of water availability also resulted in above average modelled landscape water yield1 and also an increase in soil moisture conditions. Total accessible surface water storage in the region decreased over the year, largely due to significant releases of water from Lake Argyle concurrent with average rainfall and run-off conditions in the Ord River basin.