South West aerial survey to look at underground water
Released 09 Apr 2013
An aerial survey in the South West region will provide valuable information on the region's underground water sources.
The airborne electromagnetic survey is scheduled to start on Monday 15 April 2013 across an area extending 20 kilometres inland and along the coast from Dunsborough to south of Bunbury and from Augusta to Doggerup creek.
It is expected to take about two weeks, depending on weather conditions.
The survey has been commissioned by the Department of Water in partnership with Geoscience Australia. It has received funding from an allocation of $12.82 million from the State Government's Royalties for Regions program for the four year initiative to assess, plan and investigate regional water availability in Western Australia.
Department of Water Director General Maree De Lacey said people will see a plane flying approximately 120m above the ground with survey equipment slung below.
"The equipment will send an electromagnetic pulse into the ground and the return signal will provide important information about local groundwater systems such as the geology, interaction with the seawater and water table depth," Ms De Lacey said.
Aerial electromagnetic technology is widely used around the world and emits an electrical current significantly less than that found in households and much less than that carried by overhead power lines. Its main impact is visual.
"The aerial survey will unlock information about the quantity, quality, availability and recharge of the region's groundwater resources," Ms De Lacey said.
"Information gathered from the survey will build on existing information and investigation used by the Department of Water in its management of groundwater use and to assess water resource management and licensing decisions."
Department of Regional Development and Lands Director General Paul Rosair said groundwater in the South West region supports horticultural, agricultural and industrial activities. It is also an important source of town drinking water and supports ecological systems.
A fact sheet about the South West airborne electromagnetic survey is available on the Department of Water website.
Contact: Peter Collins
Phone: (08) 6364 6848 / 0434 603 441