The Daly region

Overview of the 2011–12 year

The Daly region is highly groundwater dependent, and is one of the few perennial river systems in Northern Australia. As such, these rivers are very important for environmental, cultural and social reasons. Water in the region is currently abstracted for a variety of agricultural and industrial purposes. With the region identified for potential increased development, it is important that water allocation plans incorporate the environmental, cultural and social values of the region.

Water supply in the Daly region is primarily sourced from groundwater aquifers with some sourced directly from rivers. This includes water supply to the region.s largest urban centre of Katherine. The region has one surface water storage, located near the township of Pine Creek, which has a capacity of 500 ML. Closing net water assets in the Daly region was -67,238 ML at the end of the 2011–12 year. This negative value is due to groundwater assets not being quantified rather than a shortage of water in the region.

The key water account information for the Daly region during the 2011–12 year are presented in the following table. Information on the uncertainty associated with the volumes presented in the table is provided in the relevant sections of the account.


Key water account information for the Daly region during the 2011–12 year

Contextual information: Climate overview
Climate Overview 2011–12 Long–term average (1900–2011)
Rainfall: 1,127 mm Rainfall: 1,034 mm
Evapotranspiration: 904 mm Evapotranspiration: 809 mm
For more detail on the Daly climate refer to Climate overview.


Contextual information: Water overview
Water overview Daly River Katherine River Comment
Above mean annual flow Below mean annual flow Two major rainfall events caused two floods in the region during January and March.
For more detail on streamflow in the Daly region refer to Water overview.


Water accounting statements
Accounting statements 2011–12
Total water assets (as at 30 June) 500
Total water liabilities (as at 30 June) 67,738
Change in net water assets 666
Closing net water assets (67,238)
For more detail on water assets and water liabilities refer to Water accounting statements.



Notes: Water resources and systems


Surface water storage
Surface water 30 June 2012 30 June 2011
Total capacity Volume % of capacity Volume % of capacity
500 ML 500 ML 100% (assumed) 500 ML 100% (assumed)
For more detail on surface water in the Daly region refer to Surface water.


Water abstractions
Groundwater Total water abstracted  
2011–12 Comment
Surface water: 7,255 ML Most of the water abstractions are to individual users
Groundwater: 20,684 ML  
For more detail on water abstraction in the Daly region refer to Surface water and Groundwater.


Urban water supply
Urban water supply Total water supplied  
2011–12 Comment
Surface water: 2,355 ML All urban water supply is to the town of Katherine
Groundwater: 757 ML  
For more detail on the urban water system in the Daly region refer to Surface water and Groundwater.