About the Groundwater
Dependent Ecosystems Atlas

Groundwater Dependent Ecosystems Atlas


The National Atlas of Groundwater Dependent Ecosystems presents the current knowledge of groundwater dependent ecosystems across Australia. It displays ecological and hydrogeological information on known groundwater dependent ecosystems and ecosystems that potentially use groundwater. The Atlas is a tool to assist the consideration of ecosystem groundwater requirements in natural resource management, including water planning and environmental impact assessment.

The Atlas was funded by the Australian Government through the National Water Commission's Raising National Water Standards Program. It was developed by the National Water Commission, SKM, CSIRO, Cogha and the Bureau of Meteorology with input from every State and Territory as part of the Groundwater Action Plan. A key aim of the Groundwater Action Plan is to improve Australia's understanding of groundwater dependent ecosystems and facilitate how they are considered in water management.

Read the Information Sheet (169 KB) to find out more

The scope of the Atlas

The Groundwater Dependent Ecosystems Atlas is the most comprehensive inventory of the location and characteristics of groundwater dependent ecosystems for Australia. It incorporates multiple lines of scientific evidence including previous fieldwork, literature and mapping, and combines nation-wide layers of satellite remote sensing data. The physical characteristics that describe each ecosystem are also shown.

The Atlas shows ecosystems including springs, wetlands, rivers and vegetation that interact with:

  • the subsurface presence of groundwater, or
  • the surface expression of groundwater

Using the Atlas

Explanations are available in the FAQs and methodology reports.

Australian Government - National Water Commission

This project was funded by the Australian Government through the National Water Commission's Raising National Water Standards Program.