This initiative continues long-term ongoing monitoring of an extensive network of bores across Victoria to provide core groundwater data for decision making about management of the resource.

The information gathered provides water resource managers with key data and knowledge to enable sustainable use, helps to guard against over-extraction and ensures that reserves do not become stressed or drop below sustainable levels. It also supports groundwater planning.Long-term groundwater information is essential for calibration of groundwater models as well as detecting and drawing attention to changes in groundwater response. This is particularly important in a variable climate. The analysis of changes related to floods and droughts requires specific information about extreme events.

Total EC3 investment: $7.82 m

2012-13 expenditure: $1.649 m 
2013-14 expenditure: $1.692 m 
2014-15 expenditure: $2.113 m 
2015-16 expenditure: $2.347 m
2016-17 expenditure: $0.017 m


Under this initiative, groundwater data was collected from approximately 2400 State Observation Bores across Victoria. This data has been made available through the Water Measurement Information System and is used by a large number of stakeholders, with principal users including DELWP, water corporations, environmental managers and salinity managers.

The first two stages of the SOBN Hydrograph Review were completed in 2013-14. The review utilises a DELWP developed method for representing groundwater level trends through spatial grouping in response to the need to be able to consistently assess and evaluate groundwater resource condition. The first stage was completed in January 2014 and included reviews of the groundwater level information collected in Victoria. The second stage focused on the statistical analysis of the water level information and was completed in June 2014. Stage 3 commenced in the 2015-16 financial year and is focused on developing improved methods for reporting and displaying status of groundwater resources.

The onshore natural gas water science studies and Gippsland Basin bioregional assessment commenced in May 2014. A key objective of this project is to assist the Victorian government in considering potential risks of onshore natural gas development to water resources. In addition, the project delivers Victoria's component of the Commonwealth Gippsland Basin Bioregional Assessment (GBBA). The GBBA provides information for the independent expert scientific committee for consideration of applications for large coal mines and coal seam gas in conjunction with the Department of Economic Development, Jobs, Transport and Resources. DELWP has undertaken groundwater sampling, groundwater modelling and regional groundwater risk assessment and synthesis reporting.

A component of the funding for this initiative has also gone toward planning and restructuring of the State Observation Bore Network. More information on the works program being implemented to refurbish and decommission bores can be found here .

Page last updated: 24/05/19