Department of the Environment

Archived media releases and speeches

Senator the Hon Don Farrell

Parliamentary Secretary for Sustainability and Urban Water

Catherine King MP

Member for Ballarat

Improving groundwater knowledge in Victoria

Media release
2 December 2011

Parliamentary Secretary for Sustainability and Urban Water, Senator Don Farrell and Member for Ballarat, Catherine King, congratulated Southern Rural Water on today’s launch at Bungaree of its new groundwater atlas.

The atlas has been developed in consultation with local communities and provides residents of Southern Victoria with a means of developing a greater understanding of groundwater and its finite application.

The atlas provides simple explanations to what can be complex scientific terminology. This will assist stakeholders to understand how the changes in groundwater levels affect users and the environment. The project will also generate 3D maps of groundwater in southern Victoria and accompanying interpretative information, which will be available online.

Senator Farrell said groundwater has too often been seen as a resource that can readily be drawn on when surface water is scarce.

“However groundwater is not an infinite resource, and its connectivity with surface water resources means that care must be taken to ensure that both groundwater and surface water supplies are managed sustainably.

“There are numerous challenges to groundwater management in Australia, but many of these can be met through a better understanding of these resources.

“The National Water Commission has contributed $250 000 to fund this informative, detailed innovative web-based tool because it contributes towards the better management and planning of one of our most precious resources.

“By sharing the best available science and groundwater knowledge, this project is intended to provide a basis for informing regional action plans and identifying priority areas for management plans. It also demonstrates areas where there is a need for further groundwater data and information.”

Member for Ballarat Catherine King said Southern Rural Water has developed a product that the community can all take pride in and make use of.

“This product gives us all free and open access to groundbreaking 3D groundwater maps which will give us a better understanding of how groundwater systems connect with each other, the environment and users,” she said.

“The accompanying interpretative information will give us improved information on our groundwater resources and this is central to achieving best management practice.”

Through the National Water Commission’s $82 million National Groundwater Action Plan, the Australian Government has already invested over $4.9 million in Victorian groundwater projects.