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Fresh new elevation data relating to groundwater resources in the Upper Burdekin is set to benefit north Queensland’s farmers, businesses and communities.

Minister for Resources and Northern Australia, Matt Canavan, said councils, landholders and pastoralists would be able to tap into the data to help them manage water resources and make decisions on future developments in the region.

“This three dimensional elevation data helps us understand how rainfall and surface water feed into the groundwater system, and how this valuable groundwater makes its way back to the surface through natural springs and into the Upper Burdekin River,” Mr Canavan said.

“Water security is the key to opening up new agricultural and business opportunities in regional Australia. This new data will put the Upper Burdekin at the forefront of using groundwater resources to support development in a sustainable and profitable way.”

Townsville-based LNP Senator, Susan McDonald, said north Queensland had huge potential for future agricultural development, which would benefit all Australians.

“This new high-resolution elevation survey maps a total area of 3,400 square kilometres near Charters Towers and brings benefits to the community over and above just looking for new sources of groundwater,” Ms McDonald said.

“With more than 90 per cent of freshwater used in Northern Australia coming from groundwater, knowing more about these systems will help farmers, businesses, local government and community groups plan for the future with more certainty.

“It will also help industry and communities to sustainably access surface and groundwater for rural and urban use. For example, this new elevation data could be used by councils to help with flood risk management and planning for new infrastructure.”

The new data collection was funded through the $100 million Exploring for the Future Program, which aims to identify regions in Northern Australia with the potential for new mineral, energy and groundwater resources.

A comprehensive analysis of this new elevation data will be released in 2020.

The Queensland Department of Natural Resources, Mines and Energy, and Department of Environment and Science were also involved in the project through scoping and fieldwork.

The airborne LiDAR elevation survey data is publicly available through Geoscience Australia’s ELVIS website at: www.elevation.fsdf.org.au

Charlotte Pordage is Editor of Utility magazine, a position she has held since November 2018. She joined the team as an Associate Editor in October 2017, after sharpening her writing and editing skills across a range of print and digital publications. Charlotte graduated from Royal Holloway, University of London, in 2011 with joint honours in English and Latin. When she's not putting together Australia's only dedicated utility magazine, she can usually be found riding her horse or curled up with a good book.

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