GDE dataset aims to improve Australia's understanding of groundwater dependent ecosystems and facilitate how they are considered in water management. Information in the GDE dataset includes the ecosystems that rely on the surface and subsurface expression of groundwater and subterranean environments (caves and aquifers).
Natural resource management can use the dataset for water planning and environmental impact assessment. It indicates where ecosystems potentially interact with groundwater, and some of the characteristics of those ecosystems that may be useful in determining water requirements.
The dataset can be used for applications to identify general locations where groundwater interaction may occur. It does not imply that an entire mapped ecosystem is using groundwater, but rather within the mapped ecosystem groundwater interaction may be occurring, since only part of the ecosystem may actually be interacting with groundwater
The GDE Atlas can be used to understand the vulnerability of groundwater-dependent ecosystems to changing water management and other external factors, and developing and disseminating methods to deal with those vulnerabilities.
The GDE Atlas makes no assessment of ecosystem value, condition, sensitivity, threat or risk. There are many external factors that need to be considered in these assessments at a more detailed scale. The GDE Toolbox http://archive.nwc.gov.au/library/waterlines/69-70 provides a more detailed GDE assessment, including their identification, an assessment of ecological water requirements and determination of how changes in the groundwater environment impact on ecosystems.
Standards and Specifications
ISO19100 series Geographic information
Open Geospatial Consortium (OGC) Web Map Service (WMS) Implementation Specification 1.3.0 (OGC Document No. 06-042)