National projects National Groundwater Systems

Image of water tank in a dry golden landscape

The National Groundwater Systems project is improving understanding of Australia’s groundwater resources to better support responsible groundwater management and secure groundwater resources into the future.

The project is developing new national coverages to constrain groundwater systems and improve data standards and workflows of groundwater assessment. 

Through a phased inventory of Australia’s groundwater systems in onshore basins, this project is standardising datasets and information, including principal aquifers and key groundwater dependent assets. The project is developing a national understanding of groundwater systems that integrates available geoscience data and emerging technologies to better characterise and manage groundwater supply across vast areas of arid Australia.

Web-based delivery, visualisation and analysis of hydrogeological information will complement the work of groundwater authorities and improve accessibility of groundwater science and data for communities and decision-makers.

Due to the complexity of this image and the niche scientific target audience, no alternative description has been provided. Please email Geoscience Australia at for an alternative description.

Area of focus for continental-scale projects

What we are doing

The National Groundwater Systems project is divided into 3 research areas designed to undertake the following project activities:


Project outputs will be progressively released via this page and the Exploring for the Future Data Discovery Portal.


Geoscience Australia acknowledges all landholders and communities who have supported our work in rural, regional and remote Australia. 

Geoscience Australia staff engaging with communities

Important community information

Geoscience Australia is committed to land, air and marine access best practice and to protecting cultural heritage and the environment. 

We thank the people and communities who collaborate with us to ensure the success of the Exploring for the Future program. 

Geoscience Australia activities are not undertaken on behalf of any exploration company; we work for the benefit of all Australians.

All data produced by Geoscience Australia, including the data from this project, will be made publicly available after quality assurance has been performed. 

For more information or general enquiries, please email


Current program

The current Exploring for the Future program (2020–24) focuses on 8 interrelated projects, united in growing our understanding of Australia's geology.

Three deep-dive projects in potentially resource-rich corridors identified in the east and west of Australia: Darling–Curnamona–Delamerian, Officer–Musgrave–Birrindudu and Barkly–Isa–Georgetown projects. 

Three national projects with a focus on southern Australia: Australia’s Resources Framework, National Groundwater Systems and Australia’s Future Energy Resources projects.

Program support
Two program support projects: Enhanced Data Delivery and Geoscience Knowledge Sharing projects.