Chapter 4: Groundwater

Groundwater use is increasing and it is the main source of water for much of Australia’s dry interior.

Chapter 4 by Andrew Herczeg

Groundwater shares many of the same sustainability issues as surface water, with the added complication that over-use may not be detected for several decades because of slow renewal and movement of the resource.

Groundwater lake north of Perth

Groundwater resources are strongly connected to surface water supplies, and many of Australia’s ecosystems, plants, and animals depend upon groundwater for their survival.

The sustainable extraction limit of an aquifer is usually much less than the rate of annual recharge, or renewal. Pumping aquifers causes groundwater levels to fall, affecting ecosystems and river discharge, and increasing salinity.


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