Gascoyne Junction 2022 Tidy Town Award Environmental Sustainability

Published on Monday, 28 November 2022 at 1:49:23 PM

On Friday November 25, Gascoyne Junction was declared the State Category Winner for Environmental Sustainability at the 2022 WA Tidy Towns Sustainable Communities Awards Luncheon in Perth. 

This category was one of five that Gascoyne Junction was nominated in, along with the overall State Winner category.

This award reflects the work of the Shire of Upper Gascoyne in future proofing Gascoyne Junction reflecting the communities outstanding achievements in adapting to environmental change.  Sustainability is important for living in an area prone to drought.  Without a stable water source, a town like Gascoyne Junction which has potential for growth (Our population has grown by 25 people in the past 12 months alone) would become stagnant or decline.  It is also important to have the resources available to support this growth.

Cr Jim Caunt CEO John McCleary Shire of Upper Gascoyne Gascoyne Junction Tidy Town Award 2022 Environmental Sustainability

Cr Jim Caunt and Shire of Upper Gascoyne CEO John McCleary collecting the award in Perth.

To foster a sustainable community, water is imperative for both sustaining and growing our population.  Despite being situated where the Lyons and Gascoyne Rivers meet, Gascoyne Junction is a remote community with hostile summers with day time temperatures in the mid to high 40s.  It is no surprise that there is a shortage of water available for both the supply of the town's potable water and the water required for parks and gardens.  In 2021 the Shire of Upper Gascoyne undertook two projects aimed at future proofing the water supply in town and secondly improving the efficiency of how this water was used. 

Currently the water supply for Gascoyne Junction utilises the alluvium aquifier within the Gascoyne River.  This aquifier is heavily reliant on recharge from river flows.  Droughts or dry periods have a massive impact on both the quantity and quality of water available.  The Shire of Upper Gascoyne engaged hydrogeologists to conduct a study of the area and devised a project to dig a bore, create a bore logging study and pump test the hole.  Currently, work is underway to see if the water source is viable and the bore hole is being cased and screened. 

Should a viable water source be found, the Shire of Upper Gascoyne can remove their pump from the Gascoyne River alluvium aquifier.  The environmental impact it would have on the permanent water hole of which these pumps are located would be massive, with the water no longer been drawn, the surrounding flora and fauna would benefit a more reliable permanent water source. 

To ensure the efficient use of water, the Shire of Upper Gascoyne also undertook a project which saw new reticulation put into the Town Oval and the new Two River Memorial Park to improve water consumption.  With the addition of the Two Rivers Memorial Park, the greenspaces of Gascoyne Junction have effectively doubled.  By installing the new reticulation across the oval and memorial park, the amount of water required is half of what was previously used on the Town Oval alone over both spaces.  The importance of Greenscapes to community wellness and mental health is important creating a community where people want to be.  

Two Rivers Memorial Park Gascoyne Junction Tidy Towns WA Award Winner

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