FLOWS Initiative milestones achieved for the period 2012–2013 financial year are:

  • Non-prescribed groundwater resource assessments: Phase 1 (literature and data review) for the non-prescribed groundwater resource assessments in the Eyre Peninsula, Northern & Yorke , Kangaroo Island, AW and SAAL NRM regions have been completed. The project successfully documented the current knowledge of the groundwater resources including identifying gaps in knowledge, how to address these gaps and improve information. A key output was to consolidate regional knowledge and data and produce a key reference mapping products. Further sub-regional assessments are being progressed in priority NRM regions (Eyre Peninsula and AW).

  • Climate Change: An assessment of the potential impact of climate change on the groundwater resources has been undertaken. Areas of focus were those with significant water resources such as public/town water supply, irrigation and industry needs, and areas with environmental requirements. Priority areas included the Eyre Peninsula NRM Board area (specifically Musgrave Prescribed Wells Area and Southern Basins Prescribed Wells Area), AW NRM Board area (specifically community water supplies including. APY Lands), SAAL NRM Board area (specifically major towns such as Cooper Pedy and the Far North Prescribed Wells Area). Findings are sensitive to each area investigated providing projection tools, which can be consulted by the mining sector. The type and level of each tool available varies depending on the level of data available.

  • Goyder Institute research project (G-GLOWS): The Goyder Institute reports and groundwater mapping products in the Musgrave Block (APY Lands) and a case study on airborne geophysical data interpretation for groundwater in the Frome Embayment have been completed with a suite of six reports:

    • Airborne geophysics: This project investigated whether airborne geophysical data (accessed under the PACE Program, mining companies and the Australian Government) can be re-interpreted and developed methodologies to identify potential groundwater resources such as palaeo-channels. These methodologies are being adopted by DMITRE for its airborne geophysical surveys for mineral and also groundwater identification.

    • Recharge characteristics: Regional recharge estimates have been made based on a desktop analysis and a specific field study to better refine recharge processes.

    • Desktop study of Groundwater Dependent Ecosystems (GDEs) and cultural assets: A study capturing current knowledge around the cultural and environmental values of water resources in the Far North through a literature review and the collation of information relating to identification of attributes for each value and threats to these attributes.

  • Great Artesian Basin: The review of the western margin of the GAB in South Australia has been completed. A complementary project on the western margin of the GAB in South Australia and the Northern Territory has been undertaken by Flinders University in conjunction with the SAAL NRM Board and DEWNR has been completed. The project, which was funded by the National Water Commission (NWC) and the State agencies, has addressed key knowledge gaps concerning the water balance and pressure dynamics in the western region of the GAB and has developed a springs classification system and risk assessment framework for the spring complexes. This work, which was released in March 2013, will provide updated knowledge for the next schedules review of the water allocation plan for the Far North Prescribed Wells Area (FN PWA). View the reports on the Allocating Water and Maintaining Springs in the GAB page, on the NWC website.

  • Arckaringa and Pedirka Basins: Stage 1 of the Arckaringa Basin and Pedirka Basin groundwater assessment has been completed. Stage 1 collates existing groundwater resource information, develops hydrogeological mapping products for key formations and progresses the conceptual groundwater framework for the Arckaringa Basin and the Pedirka Basin. An initial groundwater sampling program focusing on hydrochemistry has also been completed.

See Phase 2 Update for the next steps.