Nearly 40% of the assets initially identified within the PAE of the Gloucester subregion were GDEs from the Atlas of Groundwater Dependent Ecosystems (Bureau of Meteorology, 2012). The purpose of the Atlas is to facilitate consideration of GDEs and their water requirements in Australia in water management plans. The Atlas provides a broad overview of GDE location nationally but should only be considered a first step in aiding water resource planning and management. Further research is required, especially in high risk locations, to understand links between GDEs, their water requirements and their hydrogeological setting.

In the Gloucester subregion, the Atlas identified all perennial vegetation as potentially groundwater dependent, most of which is situated in areas of very deep groundwater where trees are unlikely to have access to groundwater. The Atlas is therefore not a suitable basis for identifying truly groundwater‑dependent assets in the Gloucester subregion. This is likely to be the case in other high rainfall BAs, although the Atlas may be applied more successfully in drier BAs. Hence, the Assessment team judged that GDE polygons from the Atlas are not fit‑for‑purpose for the bioregional assessment of the Gloucester subregion unless they highlight ‘known GDEs’ which have been assessed in previous studies. This can be determined from the Atlas which highlights references to literature. More accurate mapping of GDEs, made available by the NSW Office of Water, is used for the BA in the Gloucester subregion (see companion product 2.1 for the Gloucester subregion).

Last updated:
10 February 2017