East Midlands groundwater investigation

The East Midlands investigation will help us provide certainty for agricultural water supply while balancing the environmental and social values that depend on groundwater.

The CSIRO has listed Gingin Brook and aquifers on the Dandaragan Plateau as one of the water resources most affected by climate change in south-western Australia. Water demand is increasing, water resources are fully allocated, and there are declines in groundwater levels around the high-value Gingin Brook. The Gingin groundwater allocation plan 2015 encourages users to move further north of Gingin Brook, where groundwater levels are either stable or rising, and abstraction is more spread out and not having the same impacts on surface water features.

The East Midlands investigation will help us provide certainty for agricultural water supply while balancing the environmental and social values that depend on groundwater.

Due to end in 2022, this investigation is part of our flagship State Groundwater Investigation Program.

What we are doing for the investigation

So far we have:

  • completed an airborne electromagnetic (AEM) survey over 8,200 square kilometres and used this data to guide drilling locations
  • drilled 5,438 metres and constructed 26 groundwater monitoring bores at 14 sites to a maximum depth of 420 metres
  • developed a new detailed borehole analysis approach to get more information out of our geophysical logs with minimal costs
  • produced 3D layers of major hydrogeological layers and faults in the Dandaragan Plateau and defined shallow-aquifer salinity in partnership with Curtin University
  • installed groundwater-level dataloggers in the project monitoring bores and collected time-series water-level data in target aquifers
  • carried out chemistry and isotope sampling across the newly installed bores and surface water/groundwater interaction sites along the Gingin Brook.

Key findings and how we will use the information

When complete, findings from this project will inform future allocation and licensing strategies on the Dandaragan Plateau between Gingin and Moora.

Where to get more details

You can ask for a copy of the internal technical report for the East Midlands project (HR413, Filipstova et al. 2020) by emailing groundwater.info@dwer.wa.gov.au.

Go to our Water Information Reporting portal to access data from the monitoring bores installed during the investigation.

You can access all government-commissioned airborne geophysical surveys via the Department of Mines, Industry Regulation and Safety website and download them free of charge from ‘Geophysical Surveys’ in GeoVIEW.WA or from the Geophysical Archive Data Delivery System (GADDS).

Read more about our groundwater investigations by region across Western Australia.

Page reviewed 26 July 2022