A rock-hard partnership celebrates 40 years

Busselton Water has worked closely with Rockwater, a specialist groundwater and environmental science and engineering consulting firm, for the past 40 years to ensure Busselton’s supply of groundwater is extracted and managed carefully.

Rockwater was first commissioned as a sub-consultant to Busselton Water (then known as the Busselton Water Board) in 1980 and, since then, has assisted Busselton Water to design and oversee a vast range of bore constructions and refurbishments, and has also undertaken hydrogeological investigations.

Busselton Water Managing Director, Chris Elliott explained that having industry specialists such as Rockwater to provide advice and assist with groundwater extraction is important to ensure the Yarragadee aquifer is protected.

“We draw most of our water through nine deep water bores, extracting water from the Yarragadee aquifer which runs beneath the Swan Coastal Plain west of the Darling Scarp, from Geraldton to the south coast,” Mr Elliott explained. “This aquifer is situated hundreds of metres below ground and is up to two kilometres deep.”

“To have Rockwater on hand when we construct a new bore or refurbish one, like we did at the end of last year, is integral in ensuring we’re doing everything we can to protect the aquifer.

Rockwater’s Grant Bolton reflected on the partnership with fond memories of the early days.

“I remember when Busselton Water operated out of a tiny office on Queen Street where, to have a meeting, we had to move the front desk outside,” Mr Bolton said.

“Busselton Water has grown enormously over the past 40 years and is today a highly-resourced water provider, consistently adapting to increasing water demand, climate change and reduced rainfall.”

“On a regular basis, we work with Busselton Water to monitor aquifer response to the long-term groundwater production that provides the region’s water supplies, as well as to combat any corrosion or other operational maintenance that occurs with bores.”

Busselton Water Managing Director, Chris Elliott added that “we’re pleased to continue our long partnership with Rockwater”.

”Together, we are working to assess the longevity of the Yarragadee aquifer and secure the future of our fresh groundwater source by constructing a 3D hydrogeological model of the aquifer in the Busselton region, with data provided by the Department of Water and Environmental Regulations as well as the Department of Mines, Industry Regulation and Safety.

“This data will provide us information on the challenges that lie ahead for water providers like us, including salt-water intrusion, climate change, increased groundwater demand and possibly rising sea levels.”

For more information on Busselton’s groundwater source, visit busseltonwater.wa.gov.au.