New Groundwater Report

September 24, 1999 The Rural News

"Improving the management of our groundwater resources is one of the big challenges ahead of us," chief executive of the Murray-Darling Basin Commission Don Black-more said.

Welcoming the release of a new commission publication Groundwater which gives an overview of the groundwater systems and management issues in the Murray-Darling Basin, Mr Bleckmore said the publication will he invaluable for policy makers, managers, students and community members.

Priorities for groundwater management vary across the Murray-Darling Basin.

In the south the major issues are rising groundwater levels and water salinisation. In the north they are unsustainable use and wastage.

Fundamental in all areas is the need to manage groundwater and surface water as two parts of one system.

This publication is one of a range of activities undertaken in order to upgrade the priority given to groundwater and related issues such as dryland salinity.

Products include groundwater maps and the 1997 Salt Trends report that analyzed long-term water salinity trends for the basin.

"Developing good policy and management practices for groundwater is fundamental if we are going to deal with challenges such as increasing stream salinity and sustainable water use. This publication provides a good knowledge, base and will promote public discussion of the key issues" Mr Blackmore said.