Broken Hill Managed Aquifer Recharge
The Broken Hill Managed Aquifer Recharge (BHMAR) project was undertaken to investigate and provide recommendations for groundwater-related options to help secure Broken Hill’s water supply during drought; reduce evaporation and improve water efficiency at the Menindee Lakes Storages; protect the local environment and heritage; and return up to 200 gigalitres (GL) to the Murray-Darling Basin.
Location of the BHMAR project
area (purple line) spanning a portion
of the Lower Darling valley within
the Murray Geological Basin (green line)
and the Murray-Darling river catchment
area (white line)
The project is a key element of the Federal Government’s 2007 election commitment of up to $400 million for improving the management of the Menindee Lakes area in far western New South Wales and is managed by the Australian Government Department of Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities (SEWPaC)
In the southern half of Australia, recent droughts and predictions of a drier future under a number of climate change scenarios have led to the search for innovative strategies to identify more secure water supplies for regional communities and industries, while also delivering environmental benefits to threatened river systems. These issues are of particular concern in the Murray-Darling Basin, where the recent Millennium Drought (late 1990's-2010) adversely affected many communities, industries and the environment. While subsequent heavy rains and flooding associated with La Niņa weather cycles broke the drought in late 2010 onwards, there is general acknowledgement that longer-term strategic solutions are needed to protect communities against future droughts and to achieve a healthier working Basin.
Beginning in 2008, the BHMAR has become the largest hydrogeological investigation project undertaken by the Australian Government in the past 30 years, and has delivered outcomes that could herald a new approach to water security in Australia by using aquifers during drought periods to reduce our dependence on surface water.
Results and reports from the Project will be released on both the Geoscience Australia and the SEWPaC websites.
Topic contact: email@example.com Last updated: September 2, 2013