Groundwater is water that is beneath the earth's surface in pores and crevices of rocks and soil.

The layers of soil and rock that contain useable quantities of groundwater are called aquifers. Aquifers lie beneath all parts of Victoria.

The groundwater within aquifers varies in quality from fresh drinking water to saltier than seawater.

Shallow groundwater resources are connected to surface waters and are both affected by drought and climate change. Deep groundwater reserves are more resilient to changes in rainfall, however refilling of deep aquifers can take many years.

Groundwater is allocated for consumptive use under the Water Act 1989.