Australian Government

AUS$1.3m to improve groundwater management in regional Australia

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Source: Australian Government

Minister for Climate Change and Water, Senator Penny Wong, has announced $1.3 million to better manage groundwater supplies from aquifers. Senator Wong made the announcement during a trip to Bourke on the last day of a three-day tour of the northern Murray-Darling Basin. 'Groundwater accounts for more than 30 per cent of our total water consumption - yet it is a finite resource which is only topped up or 'recharged' when surface water seeps into aquifers,' Senator Wong said. 'Under the National Water Initiative, all governments around Australia have acknowledged the importance of groundwater and committed to a 'whole-of-water-cycle' approach to managing this valuable resource.

'To develop regional water sharing plans that take account of our groundwater resources, water managers need a consistent and reliable approach to determine the recharge rates that contribute to regional water balances.

'This is especially needed in regions where little is known about our underground water reserves.

'Better understanding of both groundwater and surface water systems will contribute to improved water planning and management, consistent with the Rudd Government's commitment to properly measure and manage our precious water resources.'

The project, to be conducted by CSIRO, will develop two recharge reckoner tools and associated manuals that will enable water managers to improve their water balance models.

Funding for the project is from the National Water Commission's $82 million National Groundwater Action Plan, which undertakes projects to improve groundwater knowledge and guide the groundwater reforms agreed to under the National Water Initiative.

Further information on the project can be found at www.nwc.gov.au

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