Groundwater and surface water systems are commonly intimately linked and, therefore, understanding how they respond to climate change and land and water management is fundamental to protecting groundwater dependent ecosystems (GDEs). It is well understood that land use practices and extraction of groundwater resources can affect groundwater levels, flows, and quality. However, there is less understanding about the implications of such effects on the health of above- and below-ground ecosystems that have a dependence on groundwater. Trying to improve this understanding together with knowledge of GDE occurrence, significance, sensitivity and threat has only recently become a national priority.
This report is the major milestone and culmination of the former DPI CMI project No 102552, “Groundwater dependent ecosystems”. It began in 2007 and was funded initially from the National Action Plan (NAP) State Reserve and later by the State Water Fund. Project governance has been shared between the Victorian NAP Office and the former DSE Water Allocation and Licensing Branch. The project addresses for Victoria the first step in developing informed management action plans for protection or enhancement of GDEs, namely the prediction of GDE occurrence across the State. The issue addressed by this project is rated very highly by the National Water Initiative (Raising National Water Standards) (external link), the Victorian White Paper for Water (Securing Our Water Future) (external link), the Murray-Darling Basin Authority (external link), the Co-operative Research Centre for eWater (external link) and the NAP. The persistence of dry conditions over a number of years further reinforces the high priority attention to GDEs.
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|Front page, Table of Contents, Acronyms and Definitions (PDF 348KB)|
|Introduction (PDF 99KB)|
|What are the Groundwater Dependent Ecosystems? (PDF 103KB)|
|Description of GDE Classes (PDF 132KB)|
|Known Victorian areas with GDEs (PDF 150KB)|
|Identification of GDEs (PDF 127KB)|
|Development of state-wide potential GDE maps (PDF2.1MB)|
|CMA region potential GDE map results (PDF 4MB))|
|Conclusions and Recommendations (PDF 386KB)|
|References (PDF 147KB)|