On average the Northern Territory uses 179 GL of water per year, which is 2% of Australia's total use. Of the total water use, 51 GL of water is used from surface water sources and 53 GL of surface water is allocated to consumptive use.
128 GL of water is used from groundwater sources. The sustainable yield of groundwater for the Northern Territory is 6441 GL per year which is 22% of Australia's total.
None of the 40 Surface Water Management Areas and 5 of the 55 groundwater management units are assessed as being highly or overdeveloped.
Map of Northern Territory's surface water management areas
Select a surface water management area on the map to find out more about that area.
Map of Northern Territory's groundwater provinces
Select a groundwater province on the map to find out more about that area.
With a comparatively small population base and low intensity of land use, there has been relatively little pressure on the Northern Territory's (NT) water resources to date. This, however, is changing, and increasingly the NT's largely intact water resources are becoming subject, generally locally, to a complex range of needs and demands.
As demand on the NT's water resources grows, along with increased awareness in the community of environmental issues, so to do the demands on assessment, planning and sustainable development of the water resources. The NT has an extreme range of climatic zones, limited data across most areas and a resource knowledge base limited to areas of current demand. Much assessment work is still required to better understand issues like environmental flow requirements and surface water - groundwater interaction in order to enable effective management of the water resources.
Surface Water Reporting Units
Forty Surface Water Management Areas (SWMAs) have been defined, and 38 of them are same as the respective basins designated by the Agriculture and Resource Management Council of Australia and New Zealand (ARMCANZ) within NT, and are shown in Figure 1. This includes nine management areas (001.NT, 005.NT, 007.NT, 023.NT, 026.NT, 809.NT, 810.NT, 910.NT and 912.NT) which represents the NT portion of the respective basins. The Finniss River basin has been further subdivided to distinguish between developed and undeveloped river systems.
Groundwater Reporting Units
Groundwater information has been reported at two levels - Groundwater Management Units (GMUs) and Unincorporated Areas (UAs). Eight GMUs have been reported and these are selected major aquifer systems within gazetted Water Control Districts. The UAs comprise the majority of the NT and these are classified according to Groundwater Sub-Province (major aquifer) and typical bore yield. Some 46 Unincorporated Areas have been defined. Both GMUs and UAs are sub-areas of Groundwater Provinces which are the hydrogeological basins within the NT and the unit of reporting for the 85 Review.
For further information, contact the Northern Territory Department of Natural Resources, Environment and The Arts www.nreta.nt.gov.au.
- View the Northern Territory Water Resources Assessment 2000 Report
- View the Northern Territory Water Resources Assessment 2000 Technical Report
- Link to data available for download on the:
- Surface Water Management Areas
- Groundwater management units and provinces - ARC/INFO export
- Data from the 1985 Review of Australia's Water Resources and Water Use
- Link to the Map Maker to make a map using this information.
Links to an another web site
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