Fairhall River Gravels Aquifer
The Fairhall River drains the southern hills catchment, but over summer there is insufficient rain to maintain channel flow and it is ephemeral downstream of about Wrekin Road, depending on seasonal conditions.
Losses from the river channel accumulate in the nearby gravels and form a shallow aquifer called the Fairhall River Gravels system.
Groundwater is used for drinking, stock supply and to irrigate vineyard. However, many vineyards now rely on the Southern Valleys' Irrigation Scheme as their primary source of water.
Because the gravels are thin, they naturally have limited storage and drain quickly without continuous recharge from the Fairhall River. For these reasons, this aquifer is less reliable under late summer conditions than deeper aquifers.
The high water table and unconfined gravel structure means it responds rapidly to rainfall, but is susceptible to contamination.
The photograph features a series of ponds constructed in the early 1980s for irrigation supply. The water surface represents shallow groundwater.