26 September 2023

Project to dig deep for groundwater sources

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The Department for Environment and Water (DEW) has commenced a new project to identify sources of groundwater in the State’s outback, including its critical resources sector.

Minister for Energy and Mining, Dan van Holst Pellekaan said water scarcity was a significant barrier to economic development throughout the State’s outback.

Mr van Holst Pellekaan said the Government was identifying potential corridors that could be used for a range of new infrastructure by multiple users that could address the current economic constraints of restricted water supplies and the high cost of supported development.

Minister for Environment and Water, David Speirs, said the project was part of the Water and Infrastructure Corridors Initiative, which aimed to address water access and growth constraints by improving knowledge of groundwater resources in targeted regions.

Mr Speirs said the project also aimed to identify requirements for, and any limitations to, developing multi-use infrastructure corridors in priority areas.

He said DEW would carry out research focussing on a deep, confined aquifer known as the Cotabena Formation, which was located in the State’s north, stretching from nearby Port Pirie to north-west of Leigh Creek.

The Minister said the program aimed to identify the quality and quantity of groundwater available, improve understanding of regional water resources and inform decisions on shared water resources and infrastructure.

He said locations for the groundwater investigations in the Cotabena Formation had been identified and DEW was now working with landholders to prepare for the groundwater assessments.

“The work will involve drilling two bores to conduct pump tests, as well as two observation bores to assist with the groundwater assessments,” Mr Speirs said.

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