Described by the Department of Water “Groundwater is derived from rain which percolates down through soil or fractures in rocks, filling up the pores between sand grains or the fissures in rocks.”
Groundwater is critical to Western Australia (WA) as it supplies much of the water consumed for irrigation, drinking and other uses. The Department of Water assesses and reviews WA’s groundwater resources to ensure sustainable management of groundwater.
Groundwater Monitoring provides data on groundwater quality and quantity and is an essential aspect for groundwater management. Groundwater sampling can be undertaken for a variety of reasons which include:
- Evaluation of baseline groundwater quality
- Identification and evaluation of groundwater dependent ecosystems
- Identification of the extant, sources and transport of salt, nutrients, pesticides and other contaminants.
- Delineation of natural discharge and environmental use, such as base-flow
- Understanding of recharge-discharge mechanism
- Assessment of the impact of land use changes
- Assessment of groundwater movement and flow patterns
- Determination of the nature of the surface and groundwater interconnectivity
Water quality guidelines for aquatic ecosystems also apply to groundwater.
Where groundwater quality is assessed, the most appropriate assessment level depends on the beneficial use of the groundwater itself, as well as that at the discharge location. Refer to the Australian and New Zealand Guidelines for Fresh and Marine Water Quality (2000) for trigger values for different protection levels and visit the Department of Environment Regulation, the Department of Water or the Department of Health for different guidelines to assess the different use of groundwater such as; for drinking [Australia Drinking Water Guidelines, NHMRC & NRMMC (2004)], for chemicals [Contaminated Sites Reporting Guideline for Chemicals in Groundwater, DoH (2006)], and for microbiological assessment levels [Guidelines for Managing Risks in Recreational Water, NHMRC (2006)] etc.
For information in regards to groundwater, bores, groundwater mapping , aquifer systems, groundwater drilling and exploration contact Environmental Site Services