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A preliminary assessment of groundwater use in parts of the Darwin Rural Water Control District and Palmerston municipality



A preliminary assessment of groundwater use in parts of the Darwin Rural Water Control District and Palmerston municipality


Woltmann, M.; Irwin, R.; Northern Territory. Department of Environment and Natural Resources


E-Publications; E-Books; PublicationNT; Technical report; 2/2018




Darwin Rural Water Control District; Palmerston municipality


The sustainability of groundwater resources has been examined for parts of the Darwin Rural Water Control District (DRWCD) outside of water allocation plan (WAP) areas and including Palmerston municipality (study area). Some of the'study area' has been assessed to be at risk from the cumulative impact of groundwater use. This poses a threat to the security of groundwater access for existing and future users and the environment. It also puts the potential for current and future economic development reliant on groundwater resource extraction at risk. Prior to July 2016, groundwater users in the DRWCD with bores pumping less than 15 litres per second were exempt from requiring a groundwater extraction licence under the NT Water Act. As at July 2016, there were twelve current groundwater extraction licences issued across the DRWCD, 3 of which were in the study area. Only licensed users are required to meter and report actual groundwater extraction volumes.


Made available via the Publications (Legal Deposit) Act 2004 (NT)

Table of contents

Contents -- 1 Executive Summary -- 2 Purpose -- 3 Background -- 4 Hydrogeology -- 4.1 Aquifers -- 4.2 Water quality -- 4.3 Groundwater flow -- 4.4 Recharge -- 4.5 Discharge -- 4.6 What is sustainable use of groundwater? -- 5 Development and regulation of groundwater -- 5.1 Development of groundwater resources -- 5.2 Regulation of groundwater extraction -- 5.3 What is the problem? -- 6 Assessment methodology -- 6.1 Aquifers to groundwater systems -- 6.3 Groundwater resource zones -- 6.4 Groundwater recharge estimation -- 6.5 Consumptive Pool -- 6.6 Consumptive use - groundwater extraction estimation -- 6.7 Groundwater use -- 7 Assessment results -- 7.1 Burrell Creek Formation groundwater system -- 7.2 Coomalie groundwater system -- 7.3 Crater groundwater system -- 7.4 Cretaceous - Cox Peninsula groundwater system -- 7.5 Manton groundwater system -- 7.6 Mount Partridge groundwater system -- 7.7 Palmerston Dolostone groundwater system -- 7.8 Rum Jungle Complex groundwater system -- 7.9 South Alligator groundwater system -- 7.10 Two Sisters groundwater system -- 7.11 Well Tree groundwater system -- 7.12 Overall -- 8 Key insights -- 8.1 Calculations summarised for study area -- 8.2 Calculations summarised by groundwater use category -- 8.3 Calculations summarised by groundwater system -- 9 Summary -- 10 Recommendations -- 11 References -- Appendix 1. Groundwater systems descriptions summary table -- Appendix 2. Assessment results for individual Groundwater Resource Zones




Groundwater -- Darwin Rural Water Control District; Groundwater - Palmerston; resources; assessment

Publisher name

Northern Territory Government

Place of publication



Technical report; 2/2018


71 pages : colour maps ; 30 cm.

File type



Attribution International 4.0 (CC BY 4.0)

Copyright owner

Northern Territory Government



Parent handle

https://hdl.handle.net/10070/304944; https://hdl.handle.net/10070/304944

Citation address


Page content

DEPARTMENT OF ENVIRONMENT AND NATURAL RESOURCES www.nt.gov.au/environment A preliminary assessment of groundwater use in parts of the Darwin Rural Water Control District and Palmerston municipality August 2017 Technical report 2/2018D

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