Sydney firm picks up global prize for national groundwater atlas

29 May 2013

Australia's National Atlas of Groundwater Dependent Ecosystems has won the 2013 Geospatial World Application Excellence Award for Environment Protection and Monitoring.

The coveted award was presented during the Geospatial World Forum in Rotterdam, The Netherlands, earlier this month.

The GDE Atlas was developed by leading Sydney-based projects firm, Sinclair Knight Merz (SKM) and national science agency, the CSIRO.

The atlas, which is hosted on the Bureau of Meteorology's website, provides the first-ever comprehensive picture of the important groundwater dependent ecosystems across the country.

NSW Chief Scientist & Engineer, Professor Mary O'Kane, has congratulated the Sydney-based SKM team on its role in the development of the GDE Atlas.

"The GDE Atlas has been a groundbreaking project which has proven to be a critical resource in filling the knowledge gap of where GDEs occur, and allowing the water requirements of those important ecosystems to be carefully considered in natural resource management, water planning and environmental impact assessments," Professor O'Kane said.

"Significantly, the GDE Atlas will bolster future management decisions and help the protection of vulnerable environmental assets.

"It always gives me tremendous pleasure to hear about Australian innovators receiving international acclaim for their work and, on behalf of the NSW Government, I congratulate the SKM team in Sydney and their CSIRO colleagues on this high honour," she said.

The GDE Atlas is available at: www.bom.gov.au/water/groundwater/gde