Funding to learn what lies beneath
Groundwater monitoring grants
GROUNDWATER is one of the region’s most important assets, but is often out of sight out of mind.
Many people living in rural and regional Queensland rely on groundwater to provide a constant source of water from bores to use as stock water, for their homes and even whole towns.
Unfortunately landholders don’t always know what is happening with groundwater or have the means to monitor their own bore levels.
To make monitoring easier eligible landholders in the Surat Basin can now access a grant which will subsidise up to 75 per cent of the cost when installing monitoring equipment on bores.
The Queensland Murray-Darling Committee (QMDC) chief executive officer, Geoff Penton, said the funding was to encourage bore holders to join a
I believe this program is of utmost importance as it is imperative to obtain the widest geographical scope of readings and data. — Veryan Collyer
community-based groundwater monitoring scheme – Groundwater Net.
“Part of the ongoing effort to ensure groundwater is always available in the Coal Seam Gas (CSG) area of the Surat Basin is the Groundwater Net program,” said Mr Penton.
“Origin Energy has provided funding to the scheme to offset the cost of installing bore monitoring equipment,” he said.
Mr Penton said the number of landholders providing bore monitoring data has grown significantly since the project started in 2013, however he would like to encourage more to join.
“By becoming a Groundwater Net member you can play an active role in monitoring and reporting water bore levels and in doing so, make a valuable contribution to the knowledge and management of groundwater, both for your own property as well as the whole region,” he added.
Murilla Landcare officer Claire York spoke to Veryan Collyer of Yeramba about her thoughts on Groundwater Net.
“I believe this program is of utmost importance as it is imperative to obtain the widest geographical scope of readings and data, to ascertain whether groundwater issues are limited to a specific area,” Mrs Collyer said.
“Since becoming a Groundwater Net member in 2015, I have consistently monitored my bore levels on the first day of every month.
“Previously a department officer visited me once a year to take a reading, but upon cessation of those annual visits, I initiated the process of taking monthly readings myself.”
Mrs Collyer runs a grazing operation on her property in Yeramba and relies on her bore to provide reticulated water to troughs for the cattle.
“Thanks to the Groundwater Net program I able to view monitoring data from other bores and compare with the data being gathered by the DNRME and CSG companies,” she said.
The groundwater monitoring data is available publicly via the Queensland Government’s Globe and online Water Monitoring Information Portal (WMIP).
If you would like to learn more about Groundwater Net and the grant available, the DNRME is holding a series of workshops in the first week of May at Condamine, Chinchilla and Cecil Plains.
MONITORING: Origin Energy senior hydrologist Andrew Moser examining a bore.