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 22 of 37. uutcropping in a creek (Figure 8e). Such aquifers ean be sandstone beds, basalt flows or the parting between two beds. Buehannan Springs on Riveren is located where the contact between t\vo basalt flows is cut by a creek (Plate 5). :vlost springs occur low in the landscape but exceptions occur where the geological structure is favourable. On Bradshaw for example a series of springs issue from LfJe heads of gullies cut into the Yambarran Range (Plate 6). They represent the overflo". of a sandstone aquifer which caps the range (Figure 8d). Although it is impossible to make recommendations on how to develop each spring. general guidelines can be made. It is important to fence them off in order to protect the source of the spring. Pertnanent reduction in flow could result from cartle compacting the ground or from earthworks intended to increase the tlow. The spring water should be pumped or gravity fed to a collector dam. turkey nest or tank, whichever is appropriate in the situation. A small turkey nest (inner bottom diameter of 8 metres: side slope of 1 in 3 and height of 1.5 metres) with sut1icient storage to supply 300 head with 6 day supply would be adequate for a unifortn spring tlow of 0.3 Us. A big turkey nest (inner bortom diameter of 16 metres: side slope of 1 in 3 and height of 2.3 metres) with sufficient storage to supply 800 head with 15 day supply would be required for a unifortn spring tlow of I Us. TASKS A.\'D DA.\[S Man made surface wakr storages are not widel, used in the VRD. "iot::lble exceptions are on BrJ.dshaw and Au\'ergne. two stations \1.,-'hcr~ ground\vater supplies CQ.ll be difficult to locate. Excavated tanks are the main t) pe of storages used to hanest and store surfncewater tlows (Figure 9). Smalld capacity storages such as turkey nests. galvanised iron tarLt.:.s. liner tnrLt.:.s and concrete tanks are used as bai2Jlcing storages and to gravity fed drirLt.:.ing troughs. I:vpes of ranks aild dams Excavated tanks consist simply of a hole in the ground and can only store water up to ground level. They are best suited to areas with ve;y low slope such as tloodplains. There are two varieties. the on-stream t<lnk (Plate 7) md the off-stream tank. Both are of similar design but the fortner are located" ithin main stre3m channels while the latter are located on adjacent tloodplains. Excavated inlet chamlels are sometimes used to divert water from the main stream channel to off-stream tanks (Plate 8). The other main types of stomges are those which utilise emban..l.:.ments to add above ground storage capacity. On nat country excavated tanks can be enclosed by embankments to increase their storage above ground level (Plate 9). They are designed to fill through either an inlet pipe fitted with a flap gate or by pumping water into them from surrounding tlooded are3S during the Wet. In areas with low to moderate slopes. embankments placed on three sides of an exc3vated tank will also add above ground storage. On moderate slopes such tanks are tertned hillside storages (Plate 10) while on low slopes they are termed drainage-line tanks (Plate 11). In hilly country embankments built across gullies are tertned gully dams. Suilabililv Areas in the VRD suitable for excavated tarLt.:.s are restricted to the flat to gently undulating black soil country. A particular site needs to have an adequate depth of material which is easily excavated and which will hold water. For a water supply to be maintained till the end of the Dry. the depth of the tank should be more than 3.5 metres. Few locations in the region have soils which meet that requirement. 18