Thursday, December 25, 2008

Ancient water source vital for Australia

Ancient water source vital for Australia

SYDNEY (Reuters) - An ancient underground water basin the size of Libya holds the key to Australia avoiding a water crisis as climate change bites the drought-hit nation.
Australia's Great Artesian Basin is one of the largest artesian groundwater basins in the world, covering 1.7 million sq kms (656,370 sq miles) and lying beneath one-fifth of Australia.
The basin holds 65 million gigaliters of water, about 820 times the amount of surface water in Australia, and enough to cover the Earth's land mass under half a meter of water, says the Great Artesian Basin Coordinating Committee.
And it is slowly topped up with 1 million megaliters a year as rain filters through porous sandstone rock, becoming trapped in the underground basin.
"There is probably enough water in there to last Australia's needs for 1,500 years, if we wanted to use it all," says John Hillier, a hydrogeologist who has just completed the Great Artesian Basin Resource Study. Read article...

Download - Brochure.pdf

BACKGROUND BRIEFING: The Great Artesian Basin - the next water crisis?
As concern grows about how to share around Australia’s dwindling water supply, and how much to invest in engineering solutions like recycling and desalination, are we paying enough attention to the water we can't see?
John Hiller's Presentation, http://www.aussmc.org/JohnHillier3Dec08.pdf

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