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What are the current and emerging issues?

What are the current and emerging issues?

The issues facing groundwater managers today vary depending on location and aquifer formation.  Balancing the needs of all users, including the environment is relevant to all aquifers across our region.

Upper aquifers

The upper aquifers are important because they can be accessed quickly and cheaply when needed.  They support deep rooted vegetation, streams and wetlands which is particularly important during periods of low rainfall.

The most common issues requiring management attention in the upper aquifers are:

  • Competition between users
  • Domestic & Stock use
  • Managing groundwater surfacewater interaction
  • Groundwater pollution
  • Land salinization
  • Plantations
  • Acid sulphate soils
  • Seawater/saline intrusion

Middle aquifers

Middle aquifers are an important water source for agribusiness, urban and industrial users as well as D&S.  These aquifers generally hold more water and provide more consistent yields and salinity than upper aquifers so they tend to attract users that use higher volumes of water.

The most common issues requiring management attention in the middle aquifers are:

  • Increasing demand
  • Declining regional groundwater levels
  • Competition between users – bore interference and loss of flowing artesian conditions in bores
  • Mine dewatering
  • Seawater/saline intrusion

Lower aquifers

There are vast amounts of water held within the deep lower aquifer.  Agribusiness users, industry and urban users all rely on these aquifer.  Where the lower aquifers come to the surface in the highlands they interact strongly with streams

The most common issues requiring management attention in the lower aquifers are:

  • Groundwater surface water interaction
  • Potential cross-aquifer contamination due to faulty or poorly constructed bores
  • Energy, minerals and geothermal development
  • Carbon sequestration (basement)
  • Ongoing regional decline (Gippsland only)

Hot topics

The following issues of public interest are explored on our Hot Topics page:

  • Unconventional gas exploration
  • Geothermal development
  • Managed aquifer recharge (MAR) or Aquifer storage and recovery (ASR)
  • Groundwater pollution
  • Dewatering for underground car parks, other infrastructure projects & mining
  • Urbanisation and its impact on groundwater
  • Domestic & Stock use
  • Integrated Water Cycle Management
  • Seawater intrusion
  • Plantations



Page last updated27th May 2015
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