Mapping the Nation’s Hidden Water Wealth
In a pioneering effort aimed at safeguarding Australia’s water resources for the future, the Australian Government has embarked on an unprecedented endeavor—a comprehensive stocktake of the country’s underground water reservoirs.
The National Hydrogeological Inventory: A Geospatial Masterpiece
Developed by Geoscience Australia, the National Hydrogeological Inventory (NHI) is a groundbreaking initiative that has successfully mapped Australia’s major groundwater-bearing basins and geological provinces.
Unveiling the Importance of Groundwater
The inventory not only serves as a geospatial marvel but also paints a vivid picture of the vital role that groundwater plays in sustaining communities, industries, and ecosystems across the nation.
A Vital Resource Still Shrouded in Mystery
While recognizing the essential role that groundwater plays in Australia’s water security, experts openly acknowledge that there is still much to uncover regarding the complexities of groundwater systems.
Groundwater: The Lifeline for Many Regions
Minister for Resources and Minister for Northern Australia, Madeleine King, emphasized the critical significance of groundwater to Australia’s national water security. For numerous regions, groundwater stands as the sole, reliable source of water.
A Geoscientific Breakthrough
The NHI, born out of Geoscience Australia’s pioneering Exploring for the Future Program, is poised to serve as an invaluable resource for decision-makers, ultimately guiding future investments in groundwater.
Protecting Australia’s Environment for Posterity
Minister for Environment and Water, Tanya Plibersek, underscored the government’s unwavering commitment to better understand and safeguard the environment, ensuring its protection for generations to come.
Navigating the Era of Climate Change
Considering the enduring impacts of climate change on surface water, Plibersek emphasized the urgent need to comprehensively grasp the lifecycle of groundwater. This understanding is crucial for recognizing its vital role in sustaining ecosystems.
The Marvel of Groundwater Recharge
Dr. Steve Lewis, a groundwater geologist at Geoscience Australia, illuminated one of the most intriguing aspects of groundwater—recharge. This process involves water moving downward through the Earth’s surface, replenishing underground aquifers.
Unlocking the Great Artesian Basin
Dr. Lewis shared insights into recent studies examining recharge processes in the Great Artesian Basin—a hydrogeological giant spanning more than 1.7 million square kilometers across Queensland, New South Wales, South Australia, and the Northern Territory.
A Wealth of Information for Sustainable Management
Invaluable insights for the sustainable management of water resources are compiled within the NHI for each hydrogeological region. This comprehensive information spans from geology to hydrogeology, offering a wealth of consistent and up-to-date data.
A National View of Water Wealth
The National Hydrogeological Inventory promises to consolidate these extensive studies, offering a comprehensive understanding of Australia’s water systems. It will provide a nationwide perspective on groundwater resources, ensuring better management and preservation of this invaluable resource across the country.