Securing Australia's Water Resources

Environment

Australia is the driest inhabited continent by land area, which makes the use and management of water a key challenge. There is, however, a sparse understanding of our water  resources in much of the continent.

Groundwater and surface water systems are fundamentally linked and an adequate understanding of groundwater in particular is critical for optimised and holistic management of water resources. In many parts of Australia groundwater underpins minerals and energy resource development, agriculture and regional communities and the environment. Understanding groundwater systems and minimising the impacts of development on groundwater supply and quality are thus critical to Australia's ongoing water security and regional development.

Purpose

Optimise and sustain the use of Australia's water resources.

Our role

Inform the understanding of the location, quantity, quality and sustainable use of Australia's groundwater resources and surface water systems.

Our strategies

  • Provide authoritative, independent information and advice to the Australian Government and other stakeholders on groundwater resources, processes and impacts.
  • Conduct multi-disciplinary and multi-scale geoscientific research to enhance knowledge and understanding of groundwater and surface water systems.
  • Improve the quality and reliability of elevation and surface water information to support forecasting of water flows.

Desired outcomes

  • Management of Australia's water resources is underpinned by scientific evidence.
  • Communities have access to a sustainable water resource.
  • There is public confidence in the management of water resource use and environmental impacts.

Performance Information

Geoscience Australia's performance will be assessed using a number of qualitative and quantitative measures to communicate a comprehensive view of performance that will be presented in the organisation's annual performance statement.

Performance measures will include assessment against key deliverables and performance indicators, as well as incorporating results from science evaluations and stakeholder surveys.

  • Science evaluations are undertaken by a panel of independent experts who assess key elements of Geoscience Australia's work programme against the performance criteria of the organisation's scientific principles.
  • Geoscience Australia undertakes a biennial stakeholder survey to assess stakeholder satisfaction levels against key criteria relating to the organisation's products and services.

Programme Deliverables

2016-2017

2017-2018

2018-2019

2019-2020

Evaluating Australia's Groundwater Systems

  • Provide authoritative, independent information and advice to the Australian Government and other stakeholders on groundwater resources, processes and impacts
  • Deliver final suite of contracted products and data for Lake Eyre Basin bioregion as part of the Bioregional Assessment Programme
  • Deliver final suite of contracted products and data for the Broken Hill Managed Aquifer Recharge Project
  • Acquire and  deliver new pre-competitive groundwater data and information in collaboration with state and Northern Territory governments

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Groundwater and Surface Water Innovation

  • Develop new work flows and approaches to integrate and analyse multiple datasets in a high performance computing environment
  • Integrate new Earth observation products with groundwater and surface water data to understand groundwater systems through time
  • Assess hydrogeophysical and remote sensing technologies for groundwater system mapping and characterisation in the Australian landscape context.

 

 

 

 

Key Performance Indicators

2016-2017

2017-2018

2018-2019

2019-2020

Stakeholder satisfaction with Geoscience Australia's water resources products and services

80%

80%

80%

80%

Requests for groundwater resource management advice under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 responded to within agreed timeframes

95%

95%

95%

95%

Surface Water foundation spatial datasets meet legal and policy needs of the Water Act 2007 and the National Climate Change Adaptation Framework

100%

100%

100%

100%