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Study On Groundwater Recharge In Flood Regions

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Media Release John Anderson DPIE98/104A 26 August 1998


A major study on the impact of flood waters on the recharge of groundwater levels in the Mooki Valley has been announced by Primary Industries and Energy Minister, John Anderson.

Mr Anderson said the study is a collaborative effort between the Australian Geological Survey Organisation (AGSO) and the NSW Department of Land and Water Conservation to develop a much better understanding of recharge levels and sustainable allocation rates.

"Groundwater is a very important source of water for towns, stock, domestic and crop irrigation in north western NSW, however levels have been steadily declining over the past decade," Mr Anderson said.

"Although one would expect that the recent flooding will make a major contribution, we still do not have enough information to determine its actual impact on the recharge of groundwater supplies."

Mr Anderson said AGSO scientists from his portfolio were providing information to model the sources and rates of recharge by analysing samples from 27 observation bores along a groundwater flow path from Quirindi, along the alluvial plains of the Mooki River

valley, to Gunnedah.

"In addition, other data from the region such as rainfall, evaporation and groundwater chemical levels will be closely studied," he said.

"The study is using a range of techniques to analyse chemical data collected before this winter's rains, and is expected to be completed by the end of October. AGSO hopes to follow up this study with further sampling several months after the floods have receded to

learn how much influence they have on the groundwater system.

"The final report will provide important information to help community groups, landowners and governments to sustainably manage groundwater resources in similar catchments in north-western NSW and south-western Queensland," Mr Anderson said.

Further inquiries: Mr Anderson's office: Robert Haynes (02) 6277 7520 or 0419 493 511 AGSO: Jane Coram (02) 6249 9304

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