Why is groundwater so important?

In Australia groundwater accounts for over 30 per cent of the total water consumption. Image: Shutterstock

Groundwater is one of our most important natural resources.
Groundwater is a critical resource for much of Australia, especially in areas where evaporation rates exceed rainfall. But some people believe it is a free resource that will never run out.

As surface supplies become more stressed due to evaporation, population growth, and industrial and domestic demands, groundwater becomes more important. Craig Simmons, Director of Australia’s National Centre for Groundwater Research and Training, recently said that droughts will be part of Australia’s future. Groundwater, therefore, needs to be husbanded so it is available if and when it is really needed.

Groundwater currently accounts for 30 per cent of Australia’s total water consumption. However, it is often double allocated as both a surface and a ground resource in water management.  Globally, it is affected by increasing extraction rates, which have more than doubled in the last 50 years.

According to Geoscience Australia, the country’s reliance on groundwater has increased in nearly 90 per cent in less than 15 years. Today we bottle and sell groundwater from natural springs throughout the country.

 

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