Pink Lake Feasibility Study

Recovering Pink Lake's Lost Colour

The iconic named Pink Lake is located near the Town of Esperance, approximately 600 km south east of Perth Western Australia.  The cause of Pink Lake’s historic pink colour is a result of an algae known as Dunaliella salina (D. salina). The organism produces red carotenoid pigment at high concentrations when stressed as a survival response to outcompete other organisms for limited nutrients.  Pink Lake is likely no longer pink due to the removal of too much salt based on annual salt harvest quotas being set by incorrect hydrological investigations undertaken in 1986.

The Shire of Esperance is concerned about Pink Lake’s prolonged diminished ‘pink colour’ amenity since the mid 1990’s impacting on tourism and local community values and commissioned a feasibility study to assess whether it could be part or fully recovered. The study suggests that collecting salt crust and trialling pumping salt brine from Lake Warden to Pink Lake is environmentally feasible.

The proposed trial will see the Shire work with the Department of Biodiversity, Conservations & Attractions, Esperance RAMSAR Technical Advisory Group and Esperance Tjaltjraak Native Title Corporation on the next stages of the project.

Esperance Shire President Ian Mickel said the study had brought about more than just the opportunity to make Pink Lake pink again. “It is clear in the study that the salt harvests of yesteryear have had a significant impact on the lake,” he said.  “This project gives us a chance to not only return one of Esperance’s most beloved attractions to its former glory but to also right some ecological wrongs that have been done and benefit the surrounding wetlands and environment.”

To view relevant reports please see below

Pink Lake Feasibility Study Final

Communique Pink Lake Feasibility Study

Pink Lake and  Lake Warden Water Balance Modelling Tech Report

Water Quality Review of Pink Lake and Associated Lakes