Surface water and groundwater systems are connected. Accurately measuring the exchange between these two systems is vital to ensure that future water extraction is sustainable.
Program 3 seeks to understand water flow between groundwater and surface water systems, and is developing ways to quantify water exchange between the two.
In many places there is a net flow of groundwater to surface water or vice versa. This connectivity is often not fully recognised and this can lead to double accounting and double allocation of resources.
Program 3 also examines how water exchange affects water quality, and is addressing the protection of delicate groundwater-dependent ecosystems.
Researchers are working on:
methods to determine how streams are connected, and the extent of connection
developing models that capture the complex relationships between groundwater and floodwater exchange
quantifying groundwater recharge from ephemeral rivers in arid areas.
A sample of Program 3 projects can be found in the box to the right.