What is NCRIS?
The National Collaborative Research Infrastructure Strategy (NCRIS) is an Australian government program funding the development of scientific infrastructure. Since 2004, the Australian Government has invested over $2.5 billion to enable the Australian science community to develop critical infrastructure that will enable quality research for years to come.
The NCRIS set aside $15 million to develop a series of world-class groundwater infrastructure sites. This NCRIS Groundwater Infrastructure fund was administered by the Department of Education and managed by the University of New South Wales.
Why do we need groundwater research infrastructure?
Research into Australia’s groundwater systems has always been hampered by a lack of data. In other parts of the world, groundwater investigations have taken place at dedicated research sites, where detailed data has allowed significant breakthroughs.
Until now, Australia has not had research sites with the infrastructure necessary to obtain high-quality groundwater data. Australian researchers have usually had to rely on the limited information available from existing government infrastructure, such as bores managed by the Bureau of Meteorology.
The NCRIS Groundwater Infrastructure fund is building the infrastructure necessary to conduct a great variety of research, and these sites will provide data for many years to come, with a wide range of scientific outcomes.
Where are the NCRIS Groundwater Infrastructure sites?
Several new research sites have been developed and are now providing highly detailed data. These main sites will be the focus of research into groundwater over the next few decades:
They are open to all researchers, and the NCGRT has been conducting research at all sites.
A new groundwater database
To consolidate and make available the data collected with NCRIS Groundwater Infrastructure, approximately $950,000 of the fund was used to construct a database at The Australian National University to store, manage and provide access to the data taken from the sites.