Using technology to help with groundwater management

Using technology to help with groundwater management

Tech Savvy: The PlatypusUSV is a unique groundwater connectivity investigator that can help illuminate evaporation, seepage and other water issues. Photo: Supplied.

 Tech Savvy: The PlatypusUSV is a unique groundwater connectivity investigator that can help illuminate evaporation, seepage and other water issues. 

Agribusiness across Western NSW is experiencing an extended period of acute water shortage in the recent past and groundwater is being sought as a secure alternative water resource. Farmers are often faced with challenging decisions around investing in water infrastructure and getting these decisions right will save the farming industry a lot of money. Correctly sited bores, for example, reduce drilling risks and lost opportunity and pumping costs, while seepage investigations on surface water infrastructure such as water reservoirs and irrigation canals, can lead to savings as a result of water loss prevention.

It is critical to know where groundwater resources are recharged, where they flow and how they can be secured, so farmers need to embrace technology to help with their on-farm decision making. Soil masks complex geology that controls groundwater flow., therefore seeing within and beneath that soil is critical to good groundwater management.

Dubbo's Groundwater Imaging offers technology that allows farmers to see what is actually happening underground so that farm water management can be optimised. Their technology has helped numerous farmers make informed farm management decisions on bore siting, crop deep drainage, soil salinization, water-logging prevention and seepage loss management.

They utilise effective methods of rapid mapping of ground moisture and groundwater distribution use electric current propagation. Electric current flow in the ground is strongly controlled by groundwater whether saturated, such as in bores, or unsaturated including root zones. This makes it useful for mapping at a whole stack of depths from decimetres to tens of metres deep.

Farm based groundwater mapping technologies

Surveys have been conducted by Groundwater Imaging for family farms, agribusiness enterprise and government agencies. They include groundwater bore siting for stock, irrigation and town water supplies, reservoir seepage investigation, irrigation canals seepage investigation, and managed aquifer recharge and volumetric dimension surveys of reservoirs. Now is the best time for farms to embrace and adapt to technology to remain competitive moving forward. 

SOURCE WESTERN MAGAZINE