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The incidence of groundwater-based irrigation is increasing significantly in inland areas.

environment is surface water extraction. If cuts are required (for example for security of supply or environmental reasons), then perhaps the best response is to consider the total water use efficiency and base cuts on this criterion. This might mean that groundwater-based irrigation, for example, might even increase at the expense of other sources of water. To improve our water management, the community must first learn to understand surface water/groundwater interaction. Gaining ownership of the issue is vital. When

22 | Securing Australia’s Water Future

the time frames are short (less than a few years), the process seems to be readily understood. However, when the time frame is long (many decades or centuries), the issue becomes more technically and socially complex. All of which points to the need for a truly holistic water management framework, which involves integrated surface water and groundwater planning and management. Dr Rick Evans is principal hydrologist with consultants SKM.

Securing Australia's Water Future  

Securing water supplies has never been easy in Australia. Managing the nation’s rivers and water resources has been a learning experience, r...

Securing Australia's Water Future  

Securing water supplies has never been easy in Australia. Managing the nation’s rivers and water resources has been a learning experience, r...

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