Murray-Peel groundwater investigation

We investigated the Murray-Peel area as part of our State Groundwater Investigation Program
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The Murray groundwater area in state’s south-west is a rich and diverse environment with established agricultural and mining industries, all of which rely on groundwater. Abstraction, increasing demand for water and climate change are putting its groundwater resources under increasing pressure. The Murray groundwater allocation plan 2012 identified the need for better groundwater information and monitoring of the deeper aquifers to support the ongoing sustainable management of the resource.

We investigated the Murray-Peel area from 2011 to 2013 as part of our flagship State Groundwater Investigation Program.

What we did during the investigation

Through the Murray-Peel groundwater investigation we:

  • drilled 3,181 metres and installed a total of 19 groundwater monitoring bores into the Superficial, Leederville and Cattamarra aquifers
  • collected samples to analyse palynology (pollen grains and other spores) to determine the age and sequence of aquifer deposition
  • sampled and analysed groundwater chemistry from 28 bores across the project area to better understand the age of the aquifers and groundwater, sources of salinity, recharge and connectivity between aquifers, and groundwater residence times and flow paths.

In 2020 we flew an airborne electromagnetic (AEM) survey over the area to refine the findings of the investigation.

Key findings and how we are using the information

This investigation expanded the groundwater monitoring bore network and refined our understanding of groundwater resources in the Murray groundwater area. We will continue to monitor the new bores to support future allocation planning and regularly evaluate aquifer performance.

Where to get more details

You can download the Murray groundwater allocation plan 2012.

You can ask for the bore completion report for the Murray-Peel groundwater investigation, HR342 (Macaulay et al. 2016) by emailing

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