Why groundwater matters: an introduction for policy-makers and managers

Kath, Jarrod ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0003-2391-1264 and Dyer, Fiona (2017) Why groundwater matters: an introduction for policy-makers and managers. Policy Studies, 38 (5). pp. 447-461. ISSN 0144-2872


In many parts of the world the combined pressures of population growth and a drying climate have resulted in the proliferation of water focused policies which aim to increase the resilience of socio-ecological systems. Until recently, these policies often reflected surface water centric views of water resources, with groundwater receiving scant attention. In this paper we provide an introduction to the importance of groundwater for water-dependent socio-ecological systems and why it needs to be better incorporated into environmental water management policies. Specifically we highlight the key role of groundwater in buffering the environment and socio-economic activities against drought. We also outline some of the key challenges that face policy-makers and managers implementing groundwater management policies. These include dealing with groundwater resources that are spatially and temporally mismatched with surface water resources; transboundary governance issues; challenges between focusing on either preventative or restorative actions and most importantly limited knowledge about groundwater resources and groundwater–ecology relationships. We hope that the information in this paper will assist in the development of sustainable surface-groundwater water management policies, as well as highlight important challenges that should be considered before implementing groundwater related policies.

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Item Type: Article (Commonwealth Reporting Category C)
Refereed: Yes
Item Status: Live Archive
Additional Information: Restricted access to published version in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher.
Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: Historic - Institute for Agriculture and the Environment
Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: Historic - Institute for Agriculture and the Environment
Date Deposited: 06 Jun 2018 01:33
Last Modified: 25 Jun 2018 03:32
Uncontrolled Keywords: groundwater, water, stream, rivers, floodplains, environmental flows, Murray-Darling Basin
Fields of Research (2008): 05 Environmental Sciences > 0502 Environmental Science and Management > 050209 Natural Resource Management
Fields of Research (2020): 41 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES > 4104 Environmental management > 410406 Natural resource management
Socio-Economic Objectives (2008): D Environment > 96 Environment > 9609 Land and Water Management > 960999 Land and Water Management of Environments not elsewhere classified
Identification Number or DOI: https://doi.org/10.1080/01442872.2016.1188907
URI: http://eprints.usq.edu.au/id/eprint/34101

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