International Association of Hydrogeologists Australia

SGIP: Case studies in prioritization, innovation and application


1730-1800 : Fellowship

1800-1805 : IAH Australia AGM

1805-1900 : Presentation by the DWER:


Presentation by: Sandie McHugh, Rob Karelse and other key DWER Hydrogeologists

State Groundwater Investigation Program (SGIP): Case studies in prioritization, innovation and application

Western Australia more than any other state relies on groundwater for drinking water supplies, irrigated agriculture, industry, mining, economic development and liveable communities.  Groundwater is also essential to the environment – maintaining iconic, natural features that we West Australians love.

Since 2005, the Department of Water and Environmental Regulation (DWER) has invested over $50 million into groundwater investigations, arguably the largest, longest running, state-led program of this type in the country. In total the investigations have drilled over 60 kilometres, installed well over 500 monitoring bores, collected Airborne Electromagnetic data over an area of more than twice that of Tasmania, collected and analysed countless water samples, and completed a range of 2D geophysics surveys including seismic, magnetotelluric and electrical-resistivity.  This data has been used to construct dozens of conceptual and numerical models around the state which have underpinned the balanced management of our shared groundwater resources.

To ensure the ongoing flagship State Groundwater Investigation Program (SGIP) continues to deliver benefits to Western Australia, DWER developed a systematic prioritisation process to determine the areas most in need of groundwater information. This resulted most recently in the “next generation” of SGIP projects. Our program has shifted from more traditional investigations to targeted, demand hotspots where rapid regional growth, climate change, cumulative impacts, and an increasing need to acknowledge and incorporate Aboriginal values into groundwater management requires better groundwater information, new methods and is some cases, innovative water solutions.

The investigation program invests a portion of the budget into research and development activities, which aims to test new methodologies for data collection, interpretation, and monitoring. This includes a current groundwater telemetry trial, collection of nuclear-magnetic resonance data from bores, sampling and analysis of novel tracers, and development of new modelling workflows. The DWER actively partners with industry and academia to develop this shared science.

Case studies from the investigation program will be selected and summarised to highlight the prioritisation process, the novel methods used for data collection, and how the information will be used.  Finally, a recently completed evaluation of the program by DWER will be described.

IAH WA Tech Talks are generally held after work on the fourth Wednesday of every month. Please mark this recurring event in your calendar! Expect a collegial atmosphere, great networking opportunities and high quality speakers.

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