Skip to content
NSW logo
  1. Home
  2. About Us
  3. Glossary
Contact. Print this page. Reduce font size. Increase font size.


A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | K | L | M | N | O | P | Q | R | S | T | U | V | W | X | Y | Z


Australian Geodetic Datum - the framework used for coordinates in Australia since 1966. It is now superseded by the Geocentric Datum of Australia (GDA). Geoscience Australia   More information
Australian Height Datum - the datum used for the determination of elevations in Australia. The determination used a national network of bench marks and tide gauges, and set mean sea level as zero elevation. Geoscience Australia
Volume of water entitlement to the holder of a Water licence.
Australian Map Grid - a Cartesian coordinate system based on the Universal Transverse Mercator projection and the Australian Geodetic Datum (1966). The unit of measure is the metre. Geoscience Australia Now superseded by MGA94
An underground geologic water-bearing formation capable of transmitting quantities of water to bores or other abstraction facilities. An underground geologic water-bearing formation capable of transmitting quantities of water to bores or other abstraction facilities.
Australian Water Information Dictionary published by the Bureau of Meteorology.


An established mark, the elevation of which should be related, where practicable, to a national datum. Within Australia, the Australian Height Datum (AHD) is the adopted standard.


The volume of allocation unused in one season that is available to an individual user in the following season.
A solid length of pipe, typically PVC plastic used to keep a bore open in alluvial sediments, sand dunes or unstable rock.
The area from which a surface watercourse or a groundwater system derives its water. A Dictionary of Earth Sciences, Oxford Univ. Press 1999
commenced date
The date when the drilling of a groundwater work commenced
completion date
The date when the drilling of a groundwater work was completed
Refers to how a groundwater work has been constructed (see casing)
See electrical conductivity.
Refers to alluvial sediments which have been compacted and consolidated to for a sedimentary rock.
construction method
The drilling method by which a groudwater work (i.e. bore or well) was constructed
In this context "continuous" refers to measurements taken at discrete time intervals that are small enough to make it possible to obtain/interpolate values between the time intervals with confidence.
The physical properties of a cross-section or a reach of a natural or artificial channel that governs the relation between stage and discharge at a location in the channel.
coordinate source
Refers to the source from which a location was derived (e.g. topographic map, GPS)
coordinate, geographic
A system of spherical coordinates for describing the positions of points on the earth. The declinations and polar bearings in this system are the latitudes and longitudes respectively. Geoscience Australia
coordinate, grid
Geographical coordinates projected to a plane (e.g. MGA94). Coordinates are expressed as zone, eastings, northings.
One of 141 basic divisions of the State of New South Wales, further divided into parishes, for administrative purposes, especially for management and disposal of Crown lands. Dept Lands


Draw down level, the level in metres below the ground to which the standing water level reaches during pumping.
Downstream of the reference point.
A structure built across a drainage system to store surface water flow. May be used to refer to both small and large structures.
The following date format is used: DD/MM/YYYY.
Sometimes called analyte, parameter, test, species, element, property, etc., it is something determined or tested for in water samples. Some examples are pH, nitrate, copper, faecal coliforms, hardness, conductivity and chloroform. NZ Ministry of Health
The volume of water that passes a given location within a given period of time. (USGS glossary) Usually expressed in megalitres per day (ML/d).
The terms discharge and flow are used interchangeably.
In the context of sampling or measurement "discrete" refers to an isolated measurement. It is not possible to obtain/ interpolate a value between other discrete samples/ measurements and infer continuous values.
The process of contacting an external logging device and obtaining data for a specified period, e.g., download the previous day's readings.
DP (Deposited Plan)
A plan of land deposited in Land and Property Information, Department of Lands, which was not attached to a dealing or deed nor lodged for the purposes of a strata scheme. The Registrar General may, for convenience, number or re-number other plans as deposited plans or prepare deposited plans of his own motion. Dept Lands


The X-coordinate (the vertical lines that divide the map from west to east), and get larger to the east. See Coordinates, Grid
electrical conductivity (EC)
A measure of the ability of water to conduct an electric current between electrodes placed in a sample of the water; the value obtained relates to the nature and amount of salts present in the water and increases with concentration. Electrical conductivity is used as a surrogate measure for salinity. EC results are all compensated to 25°C. Usually expressed in microsiemens per centimetre (μS/cm).
In this context, elevation typically relates to the level of the ground surface, water surface level in a stream or storage. Usually expressed in metres above mean sea level (m) as defined by the Australian Height Datum (AHD).
elevation source
Refers to the method by which the elevation was measured (e.g. surveyed).
A device that translates water level movement into computer-readable data.


final depth
The depth to which a groundwater work was completed (i.e. constructed to). This may vary from the drilled depth.
See discharge.
Form A
The form used by groundwater drillers to log particulars about bores drilled. Detail on this form is the basis of the Groundwater Work Summary Report
Refers to the aquifer type which is provided by the voids formed by fractures, joints and partings.


gauge height
The height of the water surface above the gauge datum (zero point). Gauge height is often used interchangeably with the more general term, stage, although gauge height is more appropriate when used with a gauge reading. Gauge heights are measured in metres (m).
gauging station
A site on a stream, lake, reservoir or other body of water where observations and hydrologic data are obtained. Measurements of stream discharge at gauging stations.
Geocentric Datum of Australia - a new coordinate framework for Australia which is compatible with the Global Positioning System (GPS). The GDA was adopted in 1994 and will be implemented from the year 2000. Geoscience Australia
More information
gigalitre (GL)
1 000 000 000 litres or 1 million cubic metres or 1 million kilolitres (kL).
Global Positioning System. A highly accurate system for determining the precise location of a point on the earth's surface (and therefore its co-ordinates) by calculation from the signals of at least three satellites in a world-wide grid. Geoscience Australia
Water that is held in the rocks and soil beneath the Earth's surface.
groundwater work
A bore, well or excavation which is used to abstract water from the ground
GS Map
Geodetic Survey Map number
GW Zone
Groundwater management areas are often broken up into management zones to assist with groundwater management and allocation.
Groundwater Management Area (an area corresponding to an aquifer extents which is used for management purposes).


H (hole)
Refers to the hole number in the groundwater summary report when a groudwater work includes more than one pipe.
A graphical representation of changes in stage or discharge with respect to time.


Inside diameter in millimetres (mm) of the casing used to contructed the bore.


A body of fresh or salt water entirely surrounded by land.
The angular distance north or south of the equator, measured in degrees, minutes and seconds.
The angular distance east or west of the prime meridian, measured in degrees, minutes and seconds.
A parcel of land defined by measurement as a lot in a deposited plan or as a Crown portion or allotment. Dept Lands


Murray Darling Basin Authority
Former Murray Darling Basin Commission — functions absorbed by MDBA on 2008-12-15
megalitre (ML)
Unit of volume; 1 000 000 litres (about one Olympic-sized swimming pool).
millgram per Litre, a unit of concentration (eg. 5.2 mg/L)
Map Grid of Australia 1994 (MGA94)- a cartesian coordinate system based on the Universal Transverse Mercator projection and the Geocentric Datum of Australia 1994. The unit of measure is the metre. Geoscience Australia. See More information
Manly Hydraulics Laboratory
millilitre (mL)
Unit of volume; one thousandth of a litre.
monitoring network
The collection of monitoring sites where measurements are taken for a common purpose/project, e.g., the salinity network is all those sites where electrical conductivity measurements are taken.


The Y-coordinate (the horizontal lines that divide the map from north to south), and get larger to the north. See Coordinates, Grid


Outside diameter in millimetres (mm) of the casing used to contructed the bore.
owner type
Information on who commissioned the work to be drilled (eg. Private, Local Gov't etc).


P (pipe)
Refers to the pipe number in the groundwater summary report when a groudwater work includes more than one pipe.
One of 7515 areas formed by the division of 141 counties. Counties and parishes are administrative divisions of the state and are not separately disposable land parcels. Parishes are divided into separately disposable parcels called "portions", these being the common basic units of land disposed of by the Crown. Other basic units are allotments in Government Towns and Villages. Dept Lands
peak flow
The maximum instantaneous discharge of a stream or river at a given location. It usually occurs at or near the time of maximum stage.
The ability of a material to allow the passage of a liquid such as water through rocks. Permeable materials such as gravel and sand allow water to move quickly through them, whereas impermeable material, such as clay, is resistant to the passage of some or all fluids.
The process of contacting an external recording device and obtaining the current reading.
When referring to a parcel of land means the basic land unit capable of separate disposition created by the Crown within the boundaries of a parish. A typical description of such a land unit would be Portion 6, Parish of Sutherland, County of Cumberland. A portion may be further subdivided after alienation from the Crown, in which case that portion ceases to be a separately disposable parcel. Dept Lands
All forms in which water (H2O) falls to the ground as rain, sleet, snow, hail, drizzle or other specialised forms, and also the amounts measured.
Predetermined methods and techniques used to obtain consistent and accurate samples and measurements.
provisional data
Data that has yet to be quality checked.


Quantity of rain falling within a given area in a given time, usually the previous 24 hours. Usually expressed in millimetres (mm).
rating curve
A drawn curve showing the relation between gauge height and discharge of a stream at a given gauging station. USGS glossary
rating table
(1) In most contexts, a table showing the relation between the gauge height and the discharge of a stream at a given gauging station. Also referred to as discharge table.
(2) Any table showing the relation between two mutually dependent quantities or variables over a given range of magnitude, e.g., a table showing the relationship between the stage in a reservoir and its volume. Nevada Division of Water Resources
A mechanical or electronic apparatus that captures measurements.
Refers to the departmental administrative regions
A pond, lake or basin, either natural or artificial, for the storage, regulation and control of water. USGS glossary
A copious stream of water flowing in a channel towards a sea.


The amount of salt present in solution. Can be a descriptive term (e.g. good) or can be expressed as a value in mg/L or ppm. See also electrical conductivity and mg/L
In this context sampling refers to the collection of water quality samples for analysis and testing.
The component of an instrument that responds, detects or measures a physical or chemical property and records, indicates or otherwise responds to it.
staff gauge
A fixed vertical graduated scale on which the level of a liquid surface relative to a datum may be read.
The level of water in a channel. Stage recorders monitor the depth of water at a gauging station. Because there is a relationship between discharge and stage at any point, stage can be used to calculate discharge. (
standing water level
The level to which the water rises in a groundwater work (e.g. bore).
See reservoir.
storage curve
A curve depicting the volume of stored water against stage or time.
A general term for a body of flowing water; a natural watercourse containing water at least part of the year. In hydrology, it is generally applied to the water flowing in a natural channel rather than a canal. Nevada Division of Water Resources
stream flow
The water discharge that occurs in a natural channel. A more general term than runoff, stream flow may be applied to discharge whether or not it is affected by diversion or regulation.
stream gauging
All of the operations necessary for measuring discharge.
surface water
Water flowing or held in streams, rivers and other wetlands in the landscape.
See standing water level.


Process of recording the readings of an instrument and transmitting them by radio.
The Pocket Oxford Dictionary of Current English
A river or stream flowing into a larger river or lake. Usually, a number of smaller tributaries merge to form a river. USGS glossary


Upstream of a reference point.
Refers to alluvial (i.e. river) sediments which have not undergone any consolidation.
United States Geological Survey.


WBZ Type
Water bearing zone type, refers to the type of aquifer in which a groundwater work is constructed (e.g. unconsolidated, consolidated or fractured)
An overflow structure that may be used for controlling upstream surface level or measuring discharge or both.
work status
Information about whether a groundwater work is still in use or has been abandoned
work type
See groundwater work.


The amount of water that is abstractable from a bore, (usually expressed in Litres per second (L/sec))


In the Universal Transverse Mercator map projection, the world is divided into 60 zones. Map zones in Australia refer to the map grid (e.g. MGA94 or AMG66). More information
Contact. Print this page. Reduce font size. Increase font size.