Fund­ing to learn what lies be­neath

Ground­wa­ter mon­i­tor­ing grants

The Northern Star - Northern New South Wales Rural Weekly - - News -

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.

PHOTO: CON­TRIB­UTED

MON­I­TOR­ING: Ori­gin En­ergy se­nior hy­drol­o­gist An­drew Moser ex­am­in­ing a bore.

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