Charlton Women in Agriculture and Business members learnt all about Eyre Peninsula water at their last meeting.
David Cunningham from the Natural Resource Management team explained all the water sources available to Eyre Peninsula residents, how each is accessed, how it is supplied and its long term sustainability.
He said groundwater from various bores around the area (mostly in the Uley, Wanilla and Lincoln NP) provided all of the mains water that was pumped up as far as Ceduna while River Murray water was pumped from Morgan to Whyalla then to Kimba and Lock.
Mr Cunningham showed a small device attached to the bottom of many metres of measuring tape, which is dropped down all the monitoring bores that have been installed around the region, enabling underground water to be monitored at regular intervals.
Records are then kept of such things as the distance down to the water level, indicated by an audible beep.
The group heard that water availability, quantity and quality is now evaluated, monitored and regulated.
SA Water receives a maximum amount that can be allocated each year and the aim is to always leave a little of the allocation in reserve for unexpected events.
The region's underground water is only replenished by rainfall run-off events, something that has rarely occurred in recent years.
One estimate is that the underground water can be seven-years-old.
Where salt water incursion occurs, the fresh water sits on top of it so bore depth must also be monitored to ensure only fresh water is delivered.
If all of the region's water sources are to be sustainable everyone needs to use this precious resource thoughtfully.
Around 2002 state water regulations came into effect, including a period of water restrictions.
This resulted in much more emphasis on local dams and rainwater catchment and storage with a return to recognising the value of big farm shed roofs and big rainwater tanks.
People can have the quality of their own water tested free of charge by taking a sample of their water into the Natural Resource Management offices on Tasman Terrace Port Lincoln.
Charlton WAB usually meet on the first Tuesday evening of the month, at the Senior Citizens Club Rooms, Hallett Place.
Contact Sally Packer for information on 0429 020 885. Visitors are welcome.