Frequently Asked Questions

National Groundwater Information System

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What is the National Groundwater Information System?

The System is a spatial database from which a range of groundwater information can be accessed and visualised. It collates groundwater information from States and Territories and makes it nationally consistent. Bores and bore logs from the System can be visualised and analysed online using the Australian Groundwater Explorer

The System is underpinned by the National Aquifer Framework which ensures that terminology used to describe sediments and rocks with similar hydraulic characteristics (hydrogeologic units) is nationally consistent.

What information is housed in the System?

The System contains the location of approximately 780,000 bore sites around the country. It also houses detailed information about each bore, such as its purpose (i.e. monitoring, irrigation and commercial water use) as well as lithology, construction and hydrostratigraphy logs. 2D and 3D aquifer geometry is also available for some areas.

Who provides the information?

Information contained in the System is provided by the lead water agency in each State and Territory. Water Corporation also provides information for Western Australia.

Is there additional information held by jurisdictions?

The System only holds nationally compatible information about bores with locations that were drilled as part of the Bore Construction Licensing Framework. States and Territories may hold information about bores that do not have detailed location information, as well as additional information regarding maintenance, site access, licensing and extraction, names and addresses of bore owners, alternative bore identification information and tests including pumping tests.

When will the System be updated?

New information will be uploaded on an annual basis each December following the delivery of updated data by lead water agencies.

How accurate are the bore locations?

The accuracy of bore locations and associated data depends on the information submitted by lead water agencies. Bores that are visited on a regular basis, such as monitoring network sites and extraction bores with meters, generally have a higher level of positional accuracy than other sites. Likewise bores that have been traditionally surveyed or measured using a Global Positioning System (GPS) will be more accurately located than those estimated from less reliable methods such as air photography or maps. Users need to take into account all of the available information when determining if the information provided in the System is fit for their intended purpose.

How do I download data?

The System is available as an ESRI File Geodatabase by emailing

Bores and bore logs from the System can also be visualised and analysed online using the Australian Groundwater Explorer. The Explorer also allows users to download this data by State/Territory in a variety of formats (ESRI File Geodatabase, CSV, ESRI Shapefile and KML).

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