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research program 4

salinity mapping and hazard assessment

Rural Towns WA

Project Leader : Paul Wilkes, Curtin University of Technology, Geophysics

Start date and duration: July 2005 to June 2008

Participants : Curtin University of Technoloty, CSIRO Water for a Healthy Country, Dept of Agriculture WA, WQA Chemistry Centre, University of Western Australia, Water Corporation, and WA Shires.

Brief project description :

Urban salinity has a significant impact on 38 rural towns in WA. The Rural Towns Liquid Assets project, contributes to effective salinity control and shows how locally sourced saline groundwater may be treated and turned into a resource. This 3 yr project is working on 16 of the most salt affected towns. Katanning was originally in the list of 16 towns and some work was done on Katanning before it left the project. Hence by the time the project is completed we will have worked on 17 towns.

CRC LEME provides the geoscience input to this multi-agency, multi-disciplinary project working on salinity mitigation and identification of water resources and new water uses in 16 WA rural towns.  

Scientific Deliverables (new scientific advances)

  1. Innovative uses of geophysics in urban environments
  2. Developing seismic techniques for hydrogeological investigations
  3. 3D geological models for participating towns
  4. Papers will be presented at ASEG 2007 in Perth in November 2007 and at ISF in Adelaide in 2008.
  5. Contributions to joint papers with other RTLA scientists.  

Deliverables to Client (Adoption mechanisms)

  1. Reports, and datasets to clients.
  2. Geoscience input to Water Management Plans for the16 participating towns. Work during the coming fy will complete these reports for all 16 project towns.
  3. Mr Wilkes contributes project management for the geoscience and in the Steering Committee for the overall project
  4. Participation in knowledge transfer workshops for local Shire staff in the use of geoscience in managing rural towns.
  5. Facilities will be established in the pilots towns to demonstrate how the project recommendations work. eg groundwater pumps, new dams, new surface drainage.


  1. Salinity mitigation for salinity effects on town infrastructure and water resources
  2. Identifying new water resources and uses for these in the rural towns
  3. Geophysics contributes directly to definition of drilling targets for new bores and engineering solutions

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