Innovation

Sand spear technology developed to draw water from river bed

It is hoped that newly designed water extraction technology will relieve pressure on aquifers in Western Australia's Gascoyne region and assist local growers.
Sand spear technology developed to draw water from river bed

The WA Department of Agriculture and Food has commissioned a new design of “sand spear” to capture water in the Gascoyne River bed sands, before it flows out to sea.

Sand spears are a form of engineered pump, sunk beneath the ground.This new design has been produced with input from local growers, hydrologists and following research into similar technology in Israel.

Gascoyne Food Bowl project manager, Tony Della Bosca, said the project is a step towards drought-proofing the region.The sand liquefies when the river is flowing, what we’re trying to do is access that water and stay away from the aquifers to let them recharge.
Tony Della Bosca, Gascoyne Food Bowl project manager

“What we’re trying to do is access that water and stay away, when practical, from the aquifers to let them recharge.”We can do that through [use of] sand spears.”

One sand spear was recently installed in the Gascoyne River bed, with plans for a second spear to be installed this month.

“Depending on budget, we could install as many as 10,” Della Bosca said.Growers in the region have previously made their own filters to extract water from sand using PVC screen.

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