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Research on the Effects of Australia’s Declining Groundwater

Research on the Effects of Australias Declining GroundwaterIn a related article, we explored the effect of Australia’s water use on river systems. While surface water is impacted, Australia also contains rich reservoirs of water underground. Since we live in a very dry country, groundwater is extensively depended upon across country. This article explores Australia’s declining ground water and the consequence of such.

Effects of Groundwater Depletion

It is hard to picture what effects the loss of water found underground might have. The negative effects of its depletion is felt both by humans and natural ecosystems. In various locations it is depended upon by humans for consumption and crop irrigation, while natural environments with the life they support also depend upon it for survival.

Mound springs have also started drying up throughout Queensland and South Australia. These springs are created from water deep beneath the ground which surfaces to form mounds or bubbling ponds. Perth in Western Australia also relies heavily upon an aquifer known as the Gnangara Mound. Its water table has been monitored and seen dropping for the past 40 years.

A combination of increased human usage, reduced rainfall and possibly increased vegetation that also uses such water is often responsible. This has all resulted in wetlands and swamps being lost, along with natural vegetation and creatures that depend upon such.

Research Supporting Groundwater Decline

Research of Australia’s groundwater also show serious decline across the whole continent. NASA, through satellites that measure Earth’s gravity field and changes in Earth’s water mass upon land (see Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment [GRACE]), reported that the Canning Basin in Western Australia is being used at a rate that is the third highest in the world. This is one of Australia’s main underground water sources, and it is losing about 9.4 millimetres per year!

One study reported that the effect of the Australian drought on the Murray-Darling Basin, which accounts for approximately 70% of Australia’s total irrigation. In addition to the reduction of surface water in the river, groundwater depletion is also happening. Even with rainfalls that help to refill, there is still a notable decline of groundwater in the Basin.

Summary of Australia’s Groundwater Situation

When the data is in, it becomes clear that groundwater depletion is real a factor of concern in Australia. Actions have been taken to help address this, with measures including regulations and standards that have been put to work in the last decade or so by state and local governments.

If we value Australia’s rich natural environment, all Australians can help. Part of the solution is to harvest rainwater rather than tapping into our country’s natural water reservoirs. Installing water tanks to collect and store rain and stormwater is a responsible solution, and it can also save you some dollars in the long run.

Clark Tanks have been around a while, and we have worked hard to design and manufacture reliable water tanks. This has resulted in Clark Tanks becoming a well-known and trusted brand in the country. We would be happy to also assist you with a high-quality tank at a competitive price.