The Northern Australian Community Groundwater Security Project

Project: Research

Project Details


There is an ever-increasing demand for access to good quality groundwater across the Wet/Dry tropics and arid regions of northern Australia. Access to freshwater for drinking is vital for the existence of towns and remote communities. Water is also needed for the cattle industry, mining, agriculture, and horticulture, and plays an important role in cultural stories and connection to country for Indigenous people. Community concerns about over-use and pollution of freshwater aquifers are escalating. They include the depletion and contamination of aquifers, and the loss of groundwater dependent ecosystems, by rapidly developing industries. This project seeks to increase the understanding of the quantity and quality of the groundwater resources available to local communities and the environment, through a community-based data collection and interpretation project. Data collected from groundwater bores (wells) will be entered directly into a purpose-built app. The same app will be used to provide the results in user-friendly graphical and text formats. The use of an app means that information can be both gathered and disseminated quickly. This will empower communities to manage and protect their groundwater through direct engagement with data gathering, recording and interpretation. This project will directly support the participation of Indigenous ranger groups, school students, town and community residents, pastoralists, and other water users, in the management and conservation of the groundwater they depend on. The remoteness and vastness of the tropical and arid regions of northern Australia means that community engagement is the only way that information can be collected effectively across such a large spatial scale. Here people power far exceeds the ability to install infrastructure to collect much-needed water quality data. Groundwater is 'out of sight and out of mind' because it is underground. Direct community involvement with groundwater data collection will increase it's visibility and contribute to overall water security.
Short titleGroundwater Security
Effective start/end date1/01/2331/12/25


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