A divine way to find water in WA29 June 2015
Western Australian authorities are taking a leaf out of Russell Crowe’s book and using a method similar to Water Divining to seek out ancient underground waterways.
Well sort of. The WA Department of Water is using a slightly more sophisticated method that applies a giant magnet to investigate where groundwater is present.
The magnet will be towed around by a helicopter as part of a $1.9 million investigation of groundwater to supply towns, miners and farmers in Western Australia's Mid West. This airborne electro-magnetic survey will cover an area of 57,000 square kilometres of the East Murchison region.
By using this method of electro-magnetic surveying, ancient waterways – known as ‘paleo channels’ – can be discovered up to 250 metres below ground level.
“At the end of the project we intend to have a three-dimensional picture of these ancient buried river systems - both where they are and how deep they are,” said Scott Macaulay, a senior hydro-geologist with the Department of Water.
This advanced detection method is so accurate, it shows the different sediments that make up these water channels and the different sands and clays that are present - even indicating different water qualities.