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Subject: Geography
Topic: Managing groundwater
Description: Outlines the basic principles of groundwater management - how to balance the competing demands and needs.

About the Topic

Managing groundwater
Outlines the basic principles of groundwater management – how to balance the competing demands and needs.


Groundwater Use in Remote Communities
Explores the role of groundwater in developing countries (research)

Great Artesian Basin - Wasted Groundwater
Explores the impacts and solutions to years of uncontrolled groundwater flow in the Great Artesian Basin (research)

Use of Groundwater Stoush
Set-up a role play to discuss issues associated with the use of groundwater for bottled water (practical)

Game: Tectonic Island in the classroom
Suggests some ways the Tectonic Island game can be used to explore the concept of sustainable use of groundwater.

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.

CS22 - Loddon Groundwater Auction
This case study represents an innovate approach to dealing with community dissatisfaction about groundwater availability. Challenges faced were, how to identify more water entitlements, how to equitably provide access to new entitlements and how to ensure entitlements were valued.

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.

CS25 - Groundwater recharge from the Murray River
This case study looks at the interaction between the Murray River and the underlying groundwater and how it changes with different river conditions.

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.

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.

CityLink Groundwater Management, Melbourne
This case study highlights the importance of groundwater management in the construction and operation of Melbourne's CityLink road tunnels.

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!

Fuel spill impacts on groundwater, Avalon Victoria
When a high pressure fuel transport pipe leaks, large volumes of fuel can contaminate the groundwater. In this case study, a small leak resulted in thousands of litres of fuel forming a pool of fuel mix floating on the watertable. This case study looks at how this was managed.

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