Tag Archives: freshwater

Water for life

Changing how communities think about water in Oceania

Water is a fundamental necessity of life, and managing water—who uses it and how—is a key challenge in developing countries.

Decisions about how to use scarce freshwater for drinking, agriculture, industry, and the environment can lead to conflict. In Oceania, this is often complicated by questions of who should make the decisions—governments, landholders, industry or others.

Continue reading Water for life

The water beneath our feet

Subterranean caves in the Blue Mountains have been

Measuring infiltration water in the Wombeyan Caves, New South Wales. Credit: Andrew Baker

converted into observatories to quantify how water moves through buried rock structures into groundwater.

Groundwater forms the world’s largest active repository of fresh water—more than a hundred times larger than rivers and lakes combined.

To use that groundwater resource sustainably, we need to know that we are only using as much water as is being continually replaced, mostly via rainfall and underground leakage from rivers.

Continue reading The water beneath our feet

Are forests really the carbon sink we need?

Ivett_300x180 Evidence is building to suggest that our forests may not be the climate change ‘get out jail free’ card we all want.

Australian Rivers Institute’s Assoc. Prof. Peter Pollard has researched rainforest lakes and rivers to test a provocative theory. The respiration of bacteria living and ‘breathing’ in these freshwater ecosystems is a major pathway for the return of rainforest carbon back to the atmosphere as the greenhouse gas carbon dioxide.

Continue reading Are forests really the carbon sink we need?