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Study to explore aquifer recharge opportunities for primary production

News release
16 February 2022

The Limestone Coast (LC) Landscape Board in partnership with the Primary Producers Sustainable Water Group are investigating the feasibility of sourcing excess water from the drainage network and storing it in the aquifer for the benefit of primary industries.

The study is in-line with the LC Landscape Boards ‘Making Every Drop Count’ direction and consultation with industry, community and environmental stakeholders in an effort to explore new ways to achieve water security and sustainability in the Limestone Coast region.

“Water is central to the environment, industry, First Nations and community, and balancing the resources across these purposes is complex,” Penny Schulz, Chair of the Limestone Coast Landscape Board said.

“By gaining funding from the South Australian Government’s Landscape Priorities Fund, the LC Landscape Board has been able to undertake an innovative approach to water resource management”.

“We are now looking forward to working closely with the Primary Producers Sustainable Water Group on this technical assessment”, said Penny.

Managed by Innovative Groundwater Solutions (IGS), the feasibility study will work closely with the South East Water Conservation and Drainage Board and stakeholders to build a greater understanding of the potential opportunity for managed aquifer recharge in the lower Limestone Coast area.

Consultation with stakeholders will include representatives from major primary industries. Landholders, environmental groups, state and local government and First Nations are also invited to provide their perspectives.

Feedback is sought on current and future water demands for each sector, perceptions of surface water availability, such as drain outflows to sea, knowledge of existing surface water harvesting infrastructure, and opinions on the feasibility of using managed aquifer recharge at various scales.

According to potato farmer Terry Buckley, a member of the Primary Producers Sustainable Water Group, the project will provide an understanding of potential additional water for use in the region.

“This project investigates what resource is available in the drainage network, understanding its quality, its quantity, frequency and what can be sustainable harnessed,” Mr Buckley said.

“If this study reveals that it is viable to utilise this drainage water to recharge the aquifer, and subsequently if the aquifer proves to be robust enough to allow extra extraction, it could provide significant new water resources for our region."

“People with inspiring thoughts on how and where recharge should be carried out are encouraged to make contact to support this important work."

Stakeholders looking to take part in the study are requested to visit www.landscape.sa.gov.au/lc/water-and-coast/water-security-sustainability for more information.

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Project Manager

Glenn Harrington

Innovative Groundwater Solutions

glenn@innovativegroundwater.com.au