South West groundwater areas investigation

This investigation improved our understanding of how the environment connects to groundwater and expanded the monitoring network.

Groundwater supports drinking water, horticulture, pasture production and mining in the state’s South West. It also supports the region’s highly valued environment and its outstanding biodiversity.

The South West groundwater areas investigation improved our understanding of how the environment connects to groundwater and expanded the monitoring network. We have used this information to secure water to support the local economy, while protecting the environment.

This South West groundwater areas investigation ran from 2008 to 2010, funded by the State Groundwater Investigation Program (SGIP) and the Australian Government’s Water Smart Australia program.

What we did during the investigation

Through this investigation we:

  • drilled 85 monitoring bores at 48 sites
  • analysed lithology, groundwater and acid sulfate soils potential
  • characterised ecosystems
  • collated existing hydrogeological data across the Swan and Scott coastal plains and the Blackwood Plateau.

Key findings and how we are using the information

We have:

  • improved our understanding of the extent and thickness of the Superficial aquifer
  • better defined the connection between the Superficial and Leederville aquifers between Dunsborough and the Capel River
  • improved our understanding of how groundwater supports the environment on the Swan and Scott coastal plains
  • updated acid sulfate soils risk maps by expanding our data across the Swan and Scott coastal plains and the Blackwood Plateau
  • expanded the groundwater monitoring network
  • improved the availability and quality of groundwater data for the existing bore network in our Water Information Reporting system.

We used this information to improve the South West Aquifer Modelling System model and support the South West groundwater areas allocation plan 2009. We continue to monitor the improved network and regularly evaluate the groundwater resources of the South West.

Where to get more details

You can download the South West groundwater areas allocation plan 2009.

You can ask for copies of the internal technical reports for this investigation by emailing groundwater.info@dwer.wa.gov.au. These include:

  • Bore completion report: Swan coastal plain stratigraphic drilling program between Bunbury and Dunsborough, HR289 (Department of Water 2009)
  • Bore completion report: Groundwater-dependent ecosystems on the southern Swan coastal plain – interim report, HR293 (Wallace-Bell 2009)
  • Bore completion report: Scott coastal plain, HR296 (Chan 2011).

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

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

Page reviewed 8 August 2022