Advancing Knowledge of Groundwater in the Mount Lofty Ranges, Northern Adelaide Plains and Kangaroo Island


On 21 September 2015, responsibility for water policy and resources was transferred to the Department of Agriculture and Water Resources - Administrative Arrangement Order made on 21 September 2015.

This website will be updated to reflect these changes.

Mount Lofty Ranges, Northern Adelaide Plains and Kangaroo Island, South Australia

Australian Government Funding: $1,520,000

About the project

The project has assisted the South Australian Government to meet its groundwater assessment objectives under the National Water Initiative by improving the understanding of groundwater flows in fractured rock aquifers in the Mount Lofty Ranges, Northern Adelaide Plains and Kangaroo Island. By their nature, fractured rock groundwater systems are difficult to understand. This work has provided better knowledge of the storage, movement, recharge of groundwater and its interaction with surface water in the region.

Through use of innovative investigative methods including geophysical techniques, modelling and mapping coupled with fieldwork; information has been gathered on fractured rock groundwater systems that build on existing scientific knowledge and provide a more complete picture of how these systems operate on local and regional scales. The project provides catchment level information to inform groundwater management decisions.

Project benefits

The project:

  • improved understanding of groundwater flow mechanisms in fractured rock aquifers resulting in accelerated water resource management in the region
  • improved understanding of surface water and groundwater interactions and implications for complementary use
  • improved understanding of zones of influence of groundwater extraction in fractured rock aquifers and improved knowledge of resource behaviour in order to improve overall groundwater management
  • improved understanding of groundwater movement and recharge across faults
  • identified catchment scale groundwater processes in fractured rock environments to improved understanding and management of these areas
  • helped to maintain groundwater dependent ecosystems
  • allowed groundwater extraction in new areas and potentially increased extraction by up to 50 per cent in existing areas of low groundwater extraction.


The project is now complete and the final reports are available below: