A $3.3 million groundwater research site is being officially launched at Willunga on Adelaide's southern fringe.


The Willunga Super Science initiative, one of five sites across Australia, is part of the Federal Government’s $15m Australian Super Science Initiative, with funding allocated through the National Centre for Groundwater Research and Training at Flinders University.


Ten shallow bores and three deep wells have been drilled in the Pedler Creek catchment to study the interaction between the creeks and groundwater. Another 30 wells will be drilled to investigate flow from fractured rock highlands into the basin.


Director of Flinders University's National Centre for Groundwater Research and Training, Professor Craig Simmons, says there is a shortage of data about groundwater resources.


"Close to 30 per cent of Australia's total water consumption now comes from groundwater," he said.


"As surface water becomes scarce, the pressure on groundwater obviously increases and vice versa, so we have to think of these things and manage them and understand them.


"This is all about building monitoring equipment to measure the underground systems. It will allow us to measure groundwater systems at an unprecedented level of spatial and temporal resolution so we're going to get information about the underground aquifers and how they work."


In conjunction with the launch, the State Government has announced an Aboriginal groundwater scholarship to attract Indigenous students to groundwater science.