Groundwater-Dependent Ecosystems: The Where, What and Why of GDEs
Computing, Health and Science
Natural Sciences, Centre for Ecosystem Management
Until the early 1970s, the management of water resources in Australia was predominantly concerned with the assessment, development and harnessing of new water resources for irrigation, urban and industrial, stock and domestic water supply. The consequences of excessive and unsympathetic groundwater abstraction on groundwater-dependent (phreatophytic) vegetation, such as tree decline and mortality, have been observed throughout Australia (Arrowsmith 1996; Hatton and Evans 1998; Clifton and Evans 2001). With increasing demand for water and a changing climate regime, the need to mitigate the environmental impacts of groundwater development is increasing. Current borefield operation in Australia is largely responsive to consumption demand and often in conflict with environmental needs for groundwater, resulting in drought stress and sometimes death of phreatophytic vegetation and other impacts on GDEs.