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Accounting for groundwater

News release
17 December 2021

A Water Accounting Advisory Group has met for the first time to review and identify potential groundwater accounting options suitable for the Far North Prescribed Wells Area.

Comprised of pastoralists and property managers, board members and staff from the SA Arid Lands Landscape Board and the Department for Environment and Water (DEW), the group will meet regularly to investigate water accounting options. Members will provide advice regarding the suitability of potential water accounting methods for trialling in the far north and support the trials, including identifying participants, expertise and reviewing progress.

Its members are Donnagh Clarke (Allandale Station), David Bell (Dulkaninna Station), Randall Crozier (Willoway Farming Northern Regional Manager), Jake Fennell (Wintinna Station), Tony Williams (Mt Barry Station), Peter Litchfield (Mundowdna Station), Richard Halliday (Mallee Downs), Tim Flowers (Board Member and Water Advisory Committee Representative), Aaron Smith (Senior Water Resource Officer) and Melissa Horgan (Water Project Officer) as the executive officer.

At the first meeting held in November, members were provided with an overview of the policy and planning context for the project, Accounting for groundwater take in the Far North, and an outline of the governance, budget and project timelines. The productive and practical discussion allowed the group to explore different options and approaches and identify a number of actions for follow-up or future consideration.

Future meetings will focus on developing trial projects in preparation for an expression of interest process to deliver projects that will test water accounting methods for practicality, reliability, accuracy and cost; provide practical information on installation and maintenance costs; aim to have secondary benefit e.g. water point management; and provide evidence to support and share the feasibility and cost-effectiveness of groundwater accounting, measuring and metering.

A call for expressions of interest in conducting an accounting trial is expected to open early in 2022.

The project was established by the SAAL Board and DEW to investigate various groundwater metering, measuring and accounting options to assist in the development of an appropriate Water Accounting Implementation Plan.

If you are interested in undertaking a trial, or have any questions about the project, contact Aaron Smith at aaron.smith3@sa.gov.au or 0417 643 956 or Melissa Horgan at melissa.horgan@sa.gov.au or 0409 896 402.