Arafura swamp water resources study
Williams, D.; Chudleigh, I.; Jolly, P.
E-Publications; E-Books; PublicationNT; Report ; 45/2003
Made available via the Publications (Legal Deposit) Act 2004 (NT).
Dept. of Infrastructure, Planning and Environment
Report ; 45/2003
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4 Introduction The Arafura Swamp is located approximately 550 kilometres east of Darwin. The swamp is situated in the catchment of the Goyder and Gulbuwangay rivers and is drained by the Glyde River. The Swamp and surrounding area are significant for a variety of cultural, environmental and economic reasons. The uniqueness of the area has been recognised and the Arafura Swamp and catchment has been included on the Register of the National Estate (refer to Appendix A). The land on which the Arafura Swamp occurs is owned by the Yolgnu. The Yolgnu are the indigenous people of northeast Arnhem Land. The Arafura Swamp is vital to their livelihoods. The Swamps flora and fauna are basic food sources. The wetland flora is also used for medicinal purposes. The Arafura Swamp forms an important ecological habitat. It contains the largest paperbark swamp in Australia and it is home to a diverse number of wetland species. The catchment of the Goyder and Gulbuwangay rivers covers an area of about 9000 square kilometres. The Arafura Swamp covers an area of only 700 square kilometres (refer to Figure 1) in the dry season. In the wet the area of the swamp can extend to as much as 1300 square kilometres. In the dry season water levels are maintained by large springflows that feed the Goyder River from a regional aquifer developed in dolomite of the Dook Creek Formation (refer to Figure 7). The cultural significance of the Arafura Swamp relates to the virtually uninterrupted occupation and management of the area that has been occurring for thousands of years.
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