Australian government invests AUS$8m in groundwater management
The Rudd Government will provide $8.4 million for six new projects to improve groundwater management across Australia. Minister for Climate Change and Water, Senator Penny Wong, said funding for the six projects comes from the National Water Commission's $82 million National Groundwater Action Plan. The National Groundwater Action Plan aims to build knowledge and understanding of groundwater and to guide groundwater management reforms agreed by states, territories and the Commonwealth under the 2004 National Water Initiative.
“With groundwater accounting for more than 30 per cent of our total water consumption, the funding announced today will help deliver on the Rudd Government's commitment to better measure and manage our precious water resources,” Senator Wong said.
“This in turn will support the Rudd Government's long-term national water plan, Water for the Future, which is investing in four key priorities: taking action on climate change, using water wisely, securing our water supplies, and supporting healthy rivers.”
Senator Wong said groundwater was a resource that often extended across state boundaries, and required integrated management right around Australia.
“But there is still a great deal to learn about groundwater, which to date has received far less attention and interest than surface water.”
Projects to be funded
$2.46 million for a study of groundwater-dependent ecosystems in the State's mid-west region, where vulnerable wetlands are under development pressure from mining, horitcultural and urban activities.
$2.4 million project to assess sustainable groundwater yields as the basis for capping groundwater use under the new Murray-Darlin Basin Plan.
$1.12 million to assess major spring systems flowing from the Ooloo-Dolostone aquifer to the Daly River.
$825,000 for a comprehensive stocktake of groundwater resources.
New South Wales
$960,000 for research into how changes in the groundwater quality in coastal aquifers can affect esuarine and marin ecosystems.
$637,000 to help develop a sustainable groundwater management framework in Tasmania, consisten with the National Water Initiative.