GeoScience Australia_2009

Broken Hill Managed Aquifer Recharge Project

The HGG has contributed to the large Australian project “Broken Hill” with software and know-how in handling the large amount of data collected in the project.

The project aims to map and characterise the groundwater aquifer systems in the Darling Floodplain, and identify suitable targets to develop a managed aquifer recharge (MAR) borefield. This project is part of the Australian Government's commitment to invest up to $400 million to reduce evaporation and improve water efficiency at Menindee Lakes in western New South Wales. This will help secure Broken Hill's water supply and allow for significant amounts of water currently stored at Menindee Lakes to be returned to the environment. The project is managed through the Australian Government Department of the Environment, Water, Heritage and the Arts.

A second phase of the Broken Hill MAR Project involves the acquisition of new data including: LiDAR, AEM, seismic surveys, drillings, pump tests etc. and phase two a detailed engineering assessment will be undertaken to test new approaches.

The AEM survey is being conducted using the SkyTEM time domain system operated by Geoforce Pty Ltd, and involves acquiring 32,000 line kilometres of data at a line spacing of between 200 and 300 metres. The drilling program will involve drilling up to 50 boreholes to assist with calibration and validation of the AEM survey, and to collect samples for geological and hydrogeochemical analysis.

(Source: www.ga.gov.au/ausgeonews/ausgeonews200909/inbrief.jsp)