Water monitoring and evaluation
Water quality in the Adelaide and Mount Lofty Ranges (AMLR) is influenced by natural and human-induced factors, including soil and vegetation types, climate, land use and management practices. Water quality may be particularly threatened by land management practices close to watercourses and reservoirs, where there is little opportunity to reduce the impacts of potential contaminants entering the system by overland flow or groundwater baseflow.
In this region:
- surface water flows supply water to 10 reservoirs and four weirs, which between them store 198,400 ML of water. They also store water transferred from the River Murray
- water sources traditionally considered to be wasted, such as stormwater generated in urban areas and waste water, are increasingly being seen as a resource
- underground water is highly variable and is held in a range of different aquifer systems. These resources have been used in the region since before the 1900s and now provide a secure supply of water for a range of consumptive uses.
Natural Resources AMLR works collaboratively with other agencies and the community to ensure our water resources are managed sustainably now and into the future. Monitoring the various water sources in the region helps us find a balance between our collective need for resources and the needs of our environment.
Reporting on progress
In line with the AMLR Natural Resources Management Plan, there are three long-term targets for the condition of water in the region:
- the region will have the system capacity to harvest up to 35 gigalitres of stormwater and 50 gigalitres of wastewater per annum
- aquatic ecosystems and groundwater condition is maintained or improved
- all water resources used within sustainable yield (allowing for variability).
How we are progressing toward our goals is captured in regional report cards.
Monitoring databases and projects
- Surface water
A long-term surface water monitoring program looking at water quality and quantity. Daily flow data and other information on the state of surface waters in the region is here, combined with data from monitoring sites operated by local councils and SA Water.
This data keeps track of groundwater resources for environmental purposes and water availability for uses such as irrigation.
Observations from the region’s weather stations includes climate data such as average rainfall, temperature, humidity and frost. The weather stations are automated but do not replace the accuracy and currency of Bureau of Meteorology information.
- Trash racks
Trash racks remove rubbish and debris from waterways throughout the region. View their locations and the local catchments they’re installed in. Reports on rubbish collected are also here.
Stormwater run-off is monitored in real time to measure the success of catchment management activities. This water monitoring network also helps to identify where additional stormwater harvesting projects would best be developed to reduce pollution to Gulf St Vincent.
- Ecosystem condition
Information on the indicative condition of many watercourses in the region. This joint project between the Environment Protection Authority and Natural Resources AMLR uses the results to target on-ground works, such as revegetation.
- Environmental flows
Monitoring flow conditions is critical to understanding the requirements of a healthy river.