More than $8million of government funding will let six projects improve groundwater management across Australia.

The funding, from the National Water Commission’s $82m National Groundwater Action Plan, aims to conserve and improve the use of water in the country.

More than 30% of Australia’s water consumption comes from groundwater and the government is therefore keen to protect the vital resource.

The money will see a $2.46m study of groundwater-dependent ecosystems where wetlands are under development pressure from mining, horitcultural and urban activities in Western Australia.

A $2.4m project to assess sustainable groundwater yields as the basis for capping groundwater use under the new Murray-Darlin Basin Plan in Victoria

A $1.12m to assess major spring systems flowing from the Ooloo-Dolostone aquifer to the Daly River and $825,000 for a stocktake of groundwater resources, both in the Northern Territory.

In New South Wales $960,000 will be spent researching how changes in the groundwater quality in coastal aquifers can affect esuarine and marin ecosystems.

And finally, in Tasmania $637,000 will go towards helping develop a sustainable groundwater management framework.

Penny Wong, minister for climate change and water, said: “There is still a great deal to learn about groundwater, which to date has received far less attention and interest than surface water.”

Luke Walsh

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