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$7.5 million boost to Australia's groundwater management.

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PW 27/08 6 March 2008


Minister for Climate Change and Water, Senator Penny Wong, today announced funding of almost $7.5 million from the National Groundwater Action Plan for three new projects to improve groundwater management in Australia.

“In a time of continuing drought and climate change, it’s vital that we improve our knowledge of Australia’s precious groundwater resources so that we can manage it sustainably into the future,” Senator Wong said.

Under the Action Plan, $5 million will be invested in a project to develop a nationally consistent set of groundwater management guidelines and mapping standards.

A further $2 million will be invested in a project to assess the impact of mining on groundwater resources.

“We need to better understand the impact mining operations can have on groundwater systems that are used by farmers and towns,” Senator Wong said.

“By developing the tools needed to predict and manage the impacts of mining operations on groundwater, this project will guide future planning to minimise impacts on other water users.”

Senator Wong said a $480,000 study into the feasibility of a national information system on the quantity and quality of deep groundwater resources would also be completed.

“These deep aquifers are typically found 800 to 1700 metres underground, and are not normally used for agricultural and industrial purposes.

“This study will be the first step towards identifying new deep groundwater resources with potential for future development or use as a drought contingency,” Senator Wong said.

The $82 million National Groundwater Action Plan is managed by the National Water Commission and aims to improve groundwater knowledge and management.

Further information on these projects is available from

Media Contact: Megan Edwards 0418 342 650