Using the website

How do I use the VVG portal (map)?

An extensive User Guide has been created to assist you with exploring the full potential of the site and can be accessed here, or alternatively clicking on 'User guide' from the menu on the left.

If you still cannot find the information you were looking for, or would like further help with the portal then contact us.

How do I cite the VVG? 

If you wish to cite the data source: 

FedUni (2015). "Visualising Victoria's Groundwater." (internet data portal). Centre for eResearch and Digital Innovation, Federation University Australia, Mt Helen, Ballarat, Victoria. Retrieved dd/mm/yyyy, from:

If you wish to cite the details of the portal: 

Dahlhaus P., Murphy A., MacLeod A., Thompson H., McKenna K. & Ollerenshaw A.  2015. Making the invisible visible: the impact of federating groundwater data in Victoria, Australia.  Journal of Hydroinformatics, (online first DOI 10.2166/hydro.2015.169). Open access at:

There are several other research papers on the Research Outputs page

How do I find the predicted groundwater salinity?

This can be accessed for Victoria within the VVG portal. Instructions on how to do this are included in our user guide here.

How do I find the predicted depth to water table?

This can be accessed for Victoria within the VVG portal. Instructions on how to do this are included in our user guide here.

Why is the VVG portal not working on my touchscreen computer?

For touchscreen users, the VVG portal is currently not available within Internet Explorer 11 (IE 11) running Windows 8.1.
We have had success during testing using alternative browsers to IE 11 such as Mozilla Firefox and Google Chrome for touchscreen computers. These browsers are freely available to download from their official sites.

If I have an Apple Mac how can I have a better VVG user experience?

Trackpads and Mac mice are sometimes thought to still only have the option for a single (left) click button. These days however there are a number of ways to enable a right-click on a Mac which are detailed below:

1.    On a trackpad you have multiple ways to ‘right-click’. This external article outlines five ways

2.    For a mouse on a Mac, you can enable two clicks with instructions shown on this external link here or alternatively press alt+click to do a right-click.

Will you be adding new features to the VVG portal in the future?

Although the initial project has been formally completed, we will continue to keep the website updated. Any significant new features will require further funding, which we are working on obtaining.

General groundwater

How is groundwater governed in Victoria?

The Department of Environment, Land Water and Planning (DELWP) has a comprehensive section covering the governance of water in Victoria.

Go to where you will find a range of water governance topics in the menu bar on the left hand side of the page.

How do I measure the salinity of water?

The Department of Economic Development, Jobs, Transport and Resources (EcoDev) have an informative Landcare Note that details how to collect a water sample and record salinity levels.

Where do I get my bore water tested?

Ensure your bore water is tested at a NATA accredited laboratory. If you need help to find one, contact your Rural Water Authority:

Ask your laboratory:

  • If they provide sample bottles, to ensure you are providing them with the right volume of sample in the correct preservative (if any).
  • What the holding times are for your analytes, so you know how quickly you need to transport them to the laboratory to ensure an accurate result.
  • If they have a recommended analyte suite for your purpose.
  • If there are any special sampling procedures they recommend. Some analytes (such as cyanide) require special preparation by the sampler and others for example require no air to be left in the bottle once filled.       

How do I find out if groundwater is contaminated?

EPA Victoria has zones where groundwater has been recorded as historically polluted. You can go to the VVG portal map to find this information (user guide here) or alternatively go to the EPA map of GQRUZs in Victoria located on EPA Victoria’s website.

The GQRUZs only includes sites in Victoria that have been subject to an audit report and does not include all potential contamination. For more information on GQRUZs, go to Groundwater Pollution on the EPA website or call EPAs Pollution Hotline on 1300 EPA VIC (372 842).

If you have a bore in Victoria, you are responsible for ensuring water quality is suitable for its intended use. For information on how to get your bore water tested go to the FAQ question 'Where do I get my bore water tested?'.

What do I need to do to construct a bore in Victoria?

To construct a bore in Victoria you need to obtain a Bore Construction Licence (BCL) (name can vary slightly) from the applicable Rural Water Corporation (RWC). A licenced driller with the appropriate licence class is required to drill and construct the bore. Drillers need to ensure construction complies with the Minimum Bore Construction Requirements (PDF 11mb). If you have trouble finding a driller, contact your RWC. 

You need to contact and/or visit the webpage of the RWC operating in the proposed bore location to apply for a licence/s relevant to the purpose of your bore. Fees and application forms vary between RWCs.  

To find out which RWC operates in your area an interactive map is located here.

There are four RWCs in Victoria:

Southern Rural Water (SRW)

Goulburn-Murray Water (GMW)

Grampians Wimmera Mallee Water (GWMW)

Lower Murray Water (LMW)

Forms to apply for a licence are available on their respective websites. The forms will detail the information you will need to provide.

SRW has written a fact sheet, with useful information about constructing a bore. The PDF can be downloaded here.



What if I cannot find the groundwater bore I searched?

There are multiple reasons why you may not be able to find the bore you have searched:

1.    The data in the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning (DELWP) Water Measurement Information System (WMIS) layer was migrated from the former Groundwater Management System (GMS) in 2013 and some bore IDs that had special characters were unsuitable for their newer management system. Therefore some bore IDs have been allocated a WRK number. A bore finder has been created by DEPI to be able to locate a bore ID by cross referencing alternative IDs. To find out how to download and use this finder go to chapter 5, page 8 in How to guide for WMIS (PDF 3.2mb).

2.    In the portal there are four layers for ‘Bores’. Ensure they are ticked and that the ‘query mode’ is set to ‘Bores’. If you are unsure how to do this, go to the User guide here to find out.

3.    If you still cannot find the groundwater bore you were looking for, please contact the responsible Rural Water Corporation (RWC). To find out which RWC operates in a particular area go here.
Alternatively contact DEWLP here.

How do I submit bore information?

VVG presents data from many external organisations. If you have groundwater bore data in Victoria you would like to submit such as field or laboratory data, then you can do this via the Department of Environment and Primary Industries (DEPI) Water Measurement Information System (WMIS) website.
DEPI have included a WMIS How to Guide PDF that shows you how to upload this data here. In the guide, go to '7.6 Upload groundwater data to WMIS' p. 27.   

How do I contact you to send map comments or corrections?

  • We appreciate your contributions to our maps. To send feedback, go to
  • If you would like to mark a point, line or polygon on the map to send to us go the VVG portal and click on the ‘Comments’ tab on the right hand side of the page.
  • This will give options for a point, line or shape/polygon. Click on the option you would like to choose.
    • Point left-click mouse on area.
    • Line left-click mouse at beginning of line and double left-click where you would like the line to end.
    • Polygon left-click at a series of points to get your shape then double click the last point to join the polygon together.
  • 'Map comments' will pop up. Fill in details and 'Submit Feedback' once done. We will get back to you as soon as possible.
  • If you would like to add data go here.

Does a website like VVG operate for other Australian States/Territories?

The National Groundwater Information System (NGIS) is a spatial database spanning all States and Territories in Australia, with more than 800,000 bore locations and associated data.

There are varying degrees of spatial information shown for the States and Territories in Australia with links listed below:

New South Wales and Canberra

Northern Territory

Queensland (downloadable spatial files - not web based)

South Australia


Western Australia 

Where can I find an online interactive map of Victoria with surface water information?

Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning (DELWP) have a Water Measurement Information System (WMIS) which includes maps with surface water and groundwater layers. Their WMIS groundwater layer is one of the four different (and the largest) bore layers we have included in the VVG portal (DEPI WMIS).

To access surface water locations from DEPI, go to There is a ‘How to Guide’ document linked on the page of this link to help you navigate the site.

Waterwatch also includes interactive surface water data on their website

Where does the data within your map come from?

Data comes from a variety of sources and can be found in the About the data section of the website.

How current is your data and often is it updated?

We understand the importance of data currency and make every attempt to update the VVG portal as soon as possible after new data is made available to us. Some of the data is interoperable and therefore instantly reflects new data when a custodian updates their dataset.

Go to the About the data page and click on the layer you would like information on. Under the title ‘Data access and currency’ you will find information on data currency and update schedules.

Can I download the datasets that are in the VVG portal?

Contact us if you require layer/s from the VVG portal and we will endeavour to provide you with the layer or alternatively give you contact details to the custodian of that dataset.

Why can I see a bore point on the map without a bore ID?

Firstly ensure you have zoomed in enough to see all of the IDs, if you still cannot see the ID at full zoom, it means there are multiple bores at that point.

One of the tools we use to create the VVG map portal is MapServer. If there are multiple bores (points) overlapping on the map this will sometimes cause the bore IDs to not show up, however you will still see a point on the map indicating a bore.

As this is a problem within MapServer itself we are unable to fix it at this stage, however if you do come across a point on the map with no bore ID, it indicates there are multiple bores at that site. 

To determine the bore IDs, query the map and a list of bores will come up. If there are too many results coming up to determine which ones are at that point, reduce the bore query radius from the default 500m to 100m. Just keep in mind changing the bore query radius will reset the map view.

If you are still having trouble, contact us and we will try to determine the bore IDs for you.