Lake Deborah has evolved over the last five million years by westerly winds carrying dissolved salt minerals in sea spray 500 km inland and depositing them in old river valleys. Free from modern pollutants, these preserved salt deposits at Lake Deborah are created naturally by the Wind, the Rain and the Sun.
The creation of lake salt in its purest form is reliant on the seasonal cycles of Mother Nature. In winter, rain dissolves part of the lake’s crust and draws brine to the surface.
As the summer sun evaporates the brine, a new crop of salt crystals form on the surface of the lake. When all the water content of the brine has evaporated and the new season's crop of white salt crystals have dried, we collect the salt crystals by harvesting from the dried surface of the lake.
The salt crystals are stockpiled at the edge of the lake and gently washed before being transported to Perth.
And so, each year, the seasons repeat this entirely natural process.
Who named the lake?
Lake Deborah was named by a group of Australia’s early explorers in 1861. On Tuesday, 30 July 1861, the group found a large lake which they could view after travelling approximately 15 miles from their camp site. It was common at the time to name lakes after explorers’ wives, sisters or mothers. One of these explorers, Barnard Clarkson, named the lake, Lake Deborah, after his 26 year old eldest sister, Deborah Wilberforce Clarkson.
A unique Salt Harvest Sanctuary
The significance of this remarkable natural lake has been recognised by the Western Australian Government, who in 2012 declared Lake Deborah a Salt Harvest Sanctuary and by doing so, protected this important natural resource. The lake’s remoteness ensures that the salt remains pollutant free and unaffected by human activity.