International Association of Hydrogeologists Australia


Groundwater Management in Northern Victoria- Licensing and Resource Management of the Invisible Water Resource

Presenter: Matthew Pethybridge (Goulburn-Murray Water)


Groundwater Management in Northern Victoria has changed and adapted a great deal over the last fourteen years. We have gone from a secondary / backup supply, to now a primary source of water for many large scale irrigation developments across the Loddon, Campapse, Katunga and Ovens irrigation areas. In parallel with the increased agriculture and commercial interest in groundwater resources; water markets have reflected the nature of the product through escalating temporary and permanent prices. The presentation discusses local licensing methods and considerations, implementation of groundwater management plans and the reflections of public interest in groundwater development. The ongoing large scale interest in groundwater development from urban authorities, mining industry, rural domestic and stock, and irrigation community’s highlights groundwater management has never been more important.


Matthew is the Groundwater and Streams Manager at Goulburn-Murray Water (GMW) in Northern Victoria and has worked within the water Industry for over nineteen years. Matthew’s educational background includes a Bachelor of Science in Geology and Environmental Science from La Trobe University in Bendigo and a Master of Science in Water Sustainability and Management from Charles Sturt University. Since joining GMW in 2006, Matthew has been involved in Local and Statutory Groundwater Management Plan development, complex groundwater licence assessments which include technical and political scenarios, and policy development at a State and Federal level. Matthew considers that groundwater is no longer the backup supply for irrigated farming and is now a key component of the water supply for many major irrigation developments in Northern Victoria.

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