Depth to groundwater
Depth to groundwater—also known as depth to watertable or the free water depth to the local watertable—refers to the shortest vertical distance from the soil surface to the first water level below ground. The change in depth to groundwater refers to any depth variation, over time, detected by regular monitoring.
Monitoring the long-term change in the depth of groundwater, at selected sites, on your property will give you an indication of whether the groundwater is rising, falling or staying the same. The results will signify what impact your management actions, or the concerted effort of others, is having across a wider area.
As with all monitoring activities you will need to clearly identify why you want to monitor depth to groundwater and how monitoring this indicator may support your property or business planning objectives. Long-term monitoring of this indicator can provide useful information about the:
- rise and fall trends of water levels
- salinity risks and likely implications—for agricultural production, surface salting, water quality and stream salinity, and native vegetation and other biodiversity
- response of groundwater levels to rainfall events
- response of groundwater levels to property management (e.g. water diversions or pumping of groundwater for irrigation)
- development of management strategies which maintain a target depth to the groundwater in your property.
Download the following files for more information.
- Land Manager’s Monitoring Guide—Depth to groundwater indicator (PDF, 328K)*
- Datasheet templates for level 1 and 2 monitoring (PDF, 43K)*
- Datasheet templates for level 1 and 2 monitoring (Excel, 75K)‡
Last updated 6 September 2010