Title: Challenges in sustainably managing groundwater in the Australian Great Artesian Basin: lessons from current and historic legislative regimes
Authors:
  • Jacqui Robertson
Abstract:

In certain areas, key aquifers of the Great Artesian Basin (GAB), Australia, are experiencing continued declining water-level trends. This has been accompanied by heated conflicts between water users and a lack of trust in governance arrangements, particularly since the introduction of coal-seam gas development. These outcomes suggest current and historic unsustainable groundwater extraction within the GAB. An analysis of the current governance framework using Ostrom’s (1990) design principles for common pool resources reveals several management challenges which appear to create incentives for individualistic behaviours. Historic legislative approaches provide additional insight into key factors that have influenced decision-making. This research has implications for the future management of the GAB. Acknowledging these current and historic challenges will facilitate changing attitudes and behaviours so as to elevate the communal status of the resource and progress towards sustainable management of the basin. Ostrom E (1990) Governing the Commons: The Evolution of Institutions for Collective Action. Cambridge University Press, UK.

Citation:

Robertson J (2019), Challenges in sustainably managing groundwater in the Australian Great Artesian Basin: lessons from current and historic legislative regimes, Hydrogeology Journal, pp 1-18

Keywords: Groundwater development; Australia; Common pool resources; Design principles; Legislation

 

 

Published in the special issue “Advances in hydrogeologic understanding of Australia’s Great Artesian Basin”