Groundwater Dependent Ecosystems Atlas wins global award

Mound spring on the Oodnadatta Track

Mound spring on the Oodnadatta Track, South Australia. Photo by Luke Doherty.

Australia's Atlas of Groundwater Dependent Ecosystems has won the 2013 Geospatial World Excellence Award for Environment Protection, Monitoring and Management.

The atlas is the first national inventory of the location and characteristics of groundwater dependent ecosystems in Australia  and aims to assist the management of these important ecosystems.

Groundwater dependent ecosystems are natural systems that will be significantly changed or degraded if groundwater resource condition is altered beyond its normal range of fluctuation. These ecosystems are important for their ecological, conservation and biodiversity value, as well as social and economic factors.

Some groundwater dependent ecosystems, such as riparian forests, provide pathways for animals that move between otherwise fragmented forest areas. Others, such as rivers and wetlands, also attract tourism and support fishing, bird watching and recreation.

The atlas was developed by the National Water Commission, SKM, CSIRO, Cogha and the Bureau of Meteorology with input from each State and Territory as part of the National Water Commission's National Groundwater Action Plan.

Access the Atlas of Groundwater Dependent Ecosystems.