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Land Salinity

Status of information for reporting against indicators

The National Land & Water Resources Audit (the Audit) collected and collated information about Australia’s natural resources

The National NRM Monitoring and Evaluation Framework (NM&EF) called for the identification of ‘matters for target’. Each matter for target has a set of ‘indicators’ used to monitor and report on the topic.

Matter for target: Land salinity

Indicator heading: Area of land threatened by shallow or rising water tables

Indicators (endorsed by the Audit Advisory Council, March 2007, updated November 2007):

Trial Regions

Trials have been undertaken within the following NRM regions to assess how useful and applicable the indicators are at the regional scale. The trials were completed in October 2006.
Salinity Indicator Trials Summary Report (2007) (pdf - 1419KB)

NSWGwydir, Murrumbidgee and Macquarie
Vic—Goulburn Broken and Corangamite
Tas—Back Creek, North
Qld—Black Snake Creek Catchment, South East and Fitzroy Basin
WA—South Coast and Northern Ag region
SA—Kangaroo Island and SA Murray Darling Basin

Sponsor Agency and National Coordination

The Australian Government Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry (DAFF) has primary portfolio responsibility for this topic.

The National Coordination Committee on Salinity (formerly known as ESCASI) is the national coordinating body.

National Databases

Groundwater Flow Systems (GFS) National at scale 1:5000000

Landscape processes that cause dryland salinity vary in accord with climate, land use and land management factors that regulate the volume of recharge and so influence the water balance of each groundwater system. The Groundwater Flow Systems (GFS) concept is a structured approach to understanding landscape processes, hydrology and groundwater systems. Discrete groundwater systems may produce salinity in different parts of catchments (or sub-catchments).

Data access is available through the Australian Natural Resources Data Library under its standard user agreement and maps, text, summary tables and fact sheets are available through the Australian Natural Resources Atlas .

A larger scale regional GFS dataset is available for the Murray-Darling Basin. In addition, catchment scale data (1:250 000) are available for most of the Murray-Darling Basin but the reliability of these maps is variable.

Geoscience Australia Data Delivery System (GADDS) provides on-line access to national and state geophysical data from airborne physics (radiometrics and magnetics) and gravity databases for user-selected areas of interest. The Geoscience portal also delivers national scale maps for digital elevation, magnetics and gravity and contextual information on geological regions, major population centres and major road and railway networks. Data access is via Geoscience Australia website.

Audit Related Projects

The Australian Salinity Information Project (ASIP) aims to facilitate periodic national assessments of salinity coordinated by the National Land & Water Resources Audit based on systematic and consistent salinity data. ASIP was established by the Department of Agriculture Fisheries and Forestry (DAFF) and the Bureau of Rural Sciences (BRS).

Audit Related Publications