The team of hydrogeologists of the Department of Industry (DoI) is responsible for providing support to planners and policy makers, for providing the technical advice on projects which have a potential to impact groundwater (mining, gas, land development, infrastructures, quarries) and for supporting the implementation of the water sharing plan essentially through the approval or not of all groundwater trades. The team also support other agencies (EPA, NSW Health, DPE, councils, water utility agencies) and support specific program such as GABSI, regional water utilities water security ‘Safe and Secure’ project, Regional Strategies.
Our world is changing rapidly, not only through climate change but also through the changing needs and expectations of the community on groundwater management. At DoI Water, the groundwater team and the surface water science team form together the “Water Science” unit. To ensure we are getting ready, the Water Science team has identified where the needs of knowledge acquisition are and what policy challenges lay ahead. A Water Science Strategy has been developed in line with agency strategies and vision. A number of platforms and activities are being implemented to respond to the challenges. To cite a few: groundwater and surface water science prospectus, efficiency tools, delivery of analytical products, guidelines, science day symposiums.
This is an ambitious vision and it will require engagement with the broader hydrogeological community.
This presentation will explore the knowledge gaps and the policy challenges that the DoI Water groundwater team has identified. The presentation will provide an overview of work done in the last two years towards that goal. Finally, it will provide insights on how DoI Water will engage through different platforms with internal teams, other agencies, research agencies, the hydrogeology community and quite importantly with the public.