Territory Stories

Water Resources of the Victoria River District



Water Resources of the Victoria River District


Tickell, S. J. (Steven); Rajaratnam, L. R. (Lakshman)

Issued by

Northern Territory. Department of Lands, Planning and Enviroment. Water Resources Division


E-Publications; E-Books; PublicationNT; Report no. 11/1998




Victoria River Region


The aim of this study is to map, describe and evaluate the region's water resources. The project was started in 1993 at the request of the Victoria River District Conservation Association (YRDCA) and it was funded jointly by Landcare, the NT Government and the purpose is to provide pastoralists and communities with water resource information that will assist with property planning. VRDCA.




Groundwater -- Northern Territory -- Victoria River; Water-supply -- Northern Territory -- Victoria River; Water resources development -- Northern Territory -- Victoria River

Publisher name

Northern Territory Government

Place of publication



Report no. 11/1998


33 pages : illustrations and maps ; 30 cm.

File type



Attribution International 4.0 (CC BY 4.0)

Copyright owner

Northern Territory Government


https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/; https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0

Related links

https://hdl.handle.net/10070/672982 [Water Resources Survey of the Western Victoria River District - Water Resources of the Victoria River District_WRD98011.pdf]; https://hdl.handle.net/10070/672981 [Water Resources Survey of the Western Victoria River District - Water Resources of the Victoria River District_WRD98011.pdf]

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Technical Report WRD98011 Viewed at 15:07:47 on 29/07/2010 Page 15 of 37. to local areas where the clay soil is of sufilcient depth. In the narrow ailuvial areas soils can vary from sandy through to clayey and this together with soil depth governs the site suitability. Unsuitable for excavated tanks Areas classified as unsuitable have either one or a combination of the fullQl,ving ladors: steep slopes, thin soils, porous soils and subsoils or shallow hard bedrock which is not economic to excavate. They include areas of outcrop ping bedrock. rugged hiily country, laterite plateau and sand dune country . GROUNDWATER The main source of stock water in the VRD is groundwater. It is normally extracted with bores, typically constructed with 150 mm slotted steel or PVC casing. The water is pumped to a tank such as a turkey nest or steel tank and then gravity fed to one or more troughs (Plates I and 2). Down hole pumps powered by diesel motors are the commonest setup. with windmills gradually being phased out. i\1oderate to small quantities of groundwater are widely available. but on a local scale it is often unevenly distributed due co the nature of the aquit~rs. AOUIFER TYPE Five aquifer types have been recognised: fractured and weathered rocks, unconsolidated sediments, porous sedimentary rocks and fissured & cavt:mous rocks. Z}nconsolidated sediment.l In this type of aquit~r, water is stored in the spaces between the sand grains. Aquit"(:rs consisting of unconsolidated alluvial sands and gravels are found as isolated patches. adjacent to the major rivers. Prominent occurrences include those along the Keep River on Spirit Hills and Legune. along the Victoria River from Timber Creek to Coolibah, along the Wickham River at Yarralin and on the \Vest Bains River on Waterloo and Auvergne. Aquit~r depths var)' between 6 and 30 metres and typical yields are 1.5 LIs. The thickness and extent of the sand deposits varies from area to area. The Keep River deposits are the most extensive, fill ing a buried valley some 8 kilometres wide by 40 kilometres long. The sands range up to 30 metres in thickness and can produce yields of up to 10 Lis. Elsewhere alluvial aquifers are thin. limited to 5ma.l1. isolated occurrences and have only minor ground water potential. Sedimentary rocks with appreciable imergranular porosiry This is a similar type of aqui fer to the previous category but the sand grains are cemented together to furm sandstone. They still retain the pores between the grains and have the capacity for large storage and high yields. There are two main occurrences of such aquifers; one on Mistake Creek and another on Legune and Spirit Hills. Both are soft sandstones which form extensive aquifers. On Legune where many bores tap the aquifer, WUler is encountered at depths between 6 and 36 metres with an average airlift yield of 2.0 Lis. Standing water levels are shallovver than 30 metres. Yields in excess of lOLls could be expected if bores were drilled deeper and if stainless steel screens were used instead of slotted casing. Oil exploration bores indicate that sandstone extends from the surface to depths of several hundred metres, where it is presumably still water bearing. The sandstone on Mistake Creek has only been drilled at two sites but appears to have similar characteristics to that at Legune. I !

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