Sustainable management of coastal groundwater resources and opportunities for further development

Project details

Objective:

To develop a sustainable management framework for coastal aquifers to enable stakeholders to actively participate in the management of groundwater resources, and to set benchmarks for the sustainable management of groundwater quantity and quality for coastal dune aquifers.

Funding:

$966 000 plus applicable GST. An additional $726 000 was funded by GHD , Kempsey Shire Council, New South Wales Office of Water, Geoscience Australia and Ecoseal Developments.

Jurisdiction:

NSW

Commenced:

17 December 2007

Project status:

Finalised

Outputs:

Waterlines 79: Sustainable management of coastal groundwater resources and opportunities for further development

 

About the project

This project has developed a sustainable management framework for coastal aquifers. The framework enables stakeholders to actively participate in the management of groundwater resources and to set benchmarks for the sustainable management of groundwater quantity and quality for coastal dune aquifers. The management framework was developed in the Macleay coastal aquifer system.

Project outputs

The project has:

  • demonstrated an integrated approach for managing the availability and quality of coastal groundwater resources, as a strategy to prevent over allocation due to rapid urban and/or intensive agricultural development
  • combined socio-economic and new state of the art groundwater and seawater intrusion modelling tools to support the long-term management of coastal sand aquifers
  • developed a management framework that uses an extraction regime rather than volumetric extraction to manage water use
  • advanced current knowledge for integrating the quality and availability status of coastal groundwater systems, particularly where the risk of stressing coastal dune aquifers has increased due to greater demands from growing urban centres
  • enhanced sustainable development, shared use and risk-based management of these coastal dune aquifers and will also ensure that groundwater dependent ecosystems (such as native vegetation) in these coastal environments is protected and preserved for present and future generations.

An important aspect of the project has been the involvement of the stakeholder groups Kempsey Shire Council, Northern Rivers Catchment Management Authority and the New South Wales Department of Natural Resources which will facilitate adoption pathways for the framework.

The Waterlines report summarising the outcomes of this project is due to be released in March 2012. Additionally, a series of technical reports will be launched on the GHD website in March 2012, covering the following topics:

  • Hydrogeology, Monitoring and Hydrochemistry
  • Development of a flow and transport Model for the Macleay Sands Aquifer
  • Groundwater Dependent Ecosystems – Mapping & Risk
  • The Development and Application of Early Warning Indicators to assess the Condition of Groundwater Resources
  • Socio-economic Assessment