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The Howard Groundwater System is a complex groundwater system that underlies a significant proportion of the Darwin Rural Area, including Humpty Doo, Girraween, Lambell’s Lagoon and Koolpinyah Station.
Groundwater from the Howard Groundwater System is currently used for irrigated horticulture (such as mango production and market garden vegetables), industrial purposes, rural domestic water supply and to augment the reticulated urban water supply.
Subdivision for rural living and horticultural development has increased demand on groundwater in the rural area. Since 1980, the number of bores extracting water from the Howard Groundwater System has increased from 200 to approximately 3000.
The Howard Groundwater System Water Allocation Plan will apply to all water contained in and originating from the Howard Groundwater System. This includes groundwater that discharges to surface water ecosystems such as the Howard Springs.