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AWE is the primary provider of Salt Interception Scheme (SIS) services in the Murray-Darling Basin.  These large scale borefields are a key component of the Murray-Darling Basin Authority’s (MDBA) strategy to maintain and improve water quality for downstream users.  AWE personnel have over 30 years experience in the design, construction, operation, review and optimisation of the above mentioned schemes.

AWE’s continuous work history in competitively tendered SIS projects is a testament to our approach and ability to deliver effective schemes. Additionally, five-year performance reviews, conducted as part of the salinity register reporting requirements for MDBA, indicate that the SISs designed by AWE are achieving their interception targets.  A review of instream salinity during the Millennium Drought found that if two of the longest operating SISs in South Australia had not been constructed, salinities in the river would have exceeded benchmark values 40% of the time as opposed to only 0.1% with the schemes constructed. These borefields are efficient and maximise salt removal whilst minimising pumping costs.  AWE has also been innovative in this field by investigating the ecological benefits of SISs. 

Further reading


  • River Murray Salinity Management

    Salt Interception Schemes (SIS) form a key component of managing salinity within the River Murray. The construction of the schemes began in the late 1980s in response to increasing salinities in the River Murray that were attributed to groundwater mounds beneath irrigation districts and irrigation...

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Our experts

  • Andrew Telfer

    Director / Senior Principal Hydrogeologist

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  • Rob Burnell

    Principal Engineer

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