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Adapting new technologies for sustainably managing groundwater

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Cross-section of layers of earth

Access to AARNet has enabled researchers collaborating on the Visualising Victoria’s Groundwater (VVG) project, led by Federation University Australia (FedUni), to demonstrate the value of high-speed broadband in an innovative way.

A multidisciplinary team has created a web portal that federates groundwater data from multiple sources for the State of Victoria, Australia. The portal assists water managers, farmers, researchers, catchment managers and other groundwater users with decision-making for the sustainable use and management of this precious resource.

“Groundwater is one of those things you can’t see so it’s surrounded by a lot of myths. The only way you can find out about groundwater is to drill a bore and collect data,” said VVG project manager and FedUni hydrogeologist Peter Dahlhaus.

He says while groundwater data has been collected for more than 130 years in Victoria, the datasets have been scattered across various government departments and other institutions, making comprehensive information difficult to collect.

The VVG portal solves the problem by enabling remote access to all the datasets and seamlessly integrating the interoperable web services they each provide.

The portal’s 3D visualization tool, developed in collaboration with researchers from Queensland University of Technology enables users to select views of layers and cross-sections of the surface of the landscape, aquifers or beds below. The performance of the map and visualisation tool is dependent on a high-speed broadband connection.

Aside from transforming the way groundwater users work, the technique is now being used for other applications, such as planning for bush fire management, sport and recreation and agriculture.

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