The Chapman River is situated north east of Geraldton with its headwaters on the Victoria Plateau, east of Northampton. From here the Chapman River flows south west for 105 km and discharges to the Indian Ocean at Bluff Point in the northern suburbs of Geraldton. Average annual rainfall in the catchment is about 440 mm (Nabawa weather station).
The catchment land area is approximately 1,900 km2, and most of the catchment has been cleared for agriculture. Non irrigated cropping is the dominant land use with some grazing. The Chapman river is a gaining river for almost all of it’s length, meaning groundwater interacts with, and supplements, surface flows.