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Subject: Geography
Topic: The uses of groundwater
Description: Provides a summary of the importance of groundwater as a global and Australian resource. Includes use for agriculture, drinking water and in mining.

About the Topic

The uses of groundwater
Provides a summary of the importance of groundwater as a global and Australian resource.


Uses of groundwater
Explores how groundwater is used (research).

Famous people - Groundwater
Discover two of the groundwater professions Guru's and what they did that enables us to manage groundwater today.

Case Studies

CS4 - Botany Sands Aquifer, Sydney NSW
Describes the history of development and current challenges of the shallow Botany Sands Aquifer in Sydney.

CS11 - Howard Springs, NT
Describes the formation of the Howard Springs near Darwin, and the role the springs play in Darwin's water supply.

CS12 - Living on Karst (Mole Creek, Tasmania)
The Mole Creek karst system in Tasmania is one of the most complex and spectacular cave systems in Australia. This case study looks at how the Mole Creek community is balancing this diversity within a karst landscape.

CS14 -Coal Seam Gas Water Management
Coal seam gas development in the Surat Basin provides a great case study of the water management issues associated with this emerging industry in Australia.

CS24 - Latrobe aquifer challenges, Victoria
This case study helps consider the scenario of unexpectedly finding a remote industry accessing an aquifer system is affecting other aquifer users. The case study is presented as snapshots in time: the situation in 2005 and 2012 from technical, legal and socio-economic perspectives.

CS27 - Groundwater management, KooWeeRup Victoria
This case study looks at Australia's first groundwater management plan, and how the approach to management has changed over time.

CS31 - Groundwater in the Eastern goldfields, WA
The eastern goldfields of Western Australia are semi-desert, with only 300 mm annual rainfall and 2500 mm annual evaporation. Groundwater is an important source of water, supporting communities, stock and mining.

CS32 - Groundwater and mining, Pilbara WA
Describes an example of the importance of groundwater in mining in the arid parts of Australia.

CS34 - Stygofauna and mining in the Pilbara, WA
This case study explains why mining companies in Western Australia are helping to drive research into stygofauna, particularly in the Pilbara area.

CS36 - Groundwater resources of North China
The North China Plain is one of the most densely populated and agriculturally productive areas of the world. However, the climate is dry, and the surface water is comparatively scarce. How is this area also one of the major producers of grain crops for the world’s most populous nation? The answer is groundwater. The North China Plain lies above a major aquifer, which is probably the world’s most intensively exploited groundwater aquifer system.

Salt water intrusion impacts on irrigation
Werribee South irrigation district in Victoria is a market garden centre providing vegetables to Melbourne. Water for irrigation is sourced from surface water, groundwater and recycled water. At the height of the recent drought, groundwater extraction started to draw saline sea water into the otherwise fresh water. See how this was managed!

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