Groundwater dependent wetlands
C. Max Finlayson, Mark Everard, Kenneth Irvine, Robert J. McInnes, Beth A. Middleton, Anne A. van Dam, Nick C. Davidson
School of Science
Groundwater-dependent wetlands (GDW) are no different to other wetlands in their need for management particularly under circumstances where hydrological changes threaten the conservation of wetland values. However, GDW have two important characteristics that make their management challenging. They derive a significant proportion of their annual inflow from hydrological pathways obscured by subterranean geology and geomorphology, and therefore understanding their response to altered groundwater regimes can be perceptually difficult. This same context creates a spatial and temporal “disconnect,” where delays and thresholds need to be understood before cause and effect can be established. Accordingly, GDW are best approached from a starting point of complexity and uncertainty using management frameworks appropriate for the task.