Student groundwater project hits high-water mark

Flinders PhD student Andrew Knight was awarded the Hodgson Award – The Australian Water Association’s annual Student Water Prize for SA at the AWA Gala Dinner on November 23.

Andrew, whose PhD is being supervised by Professor Adrian Werner, submitted a project on The Onshore Influence of Offshore Fresh Groundwater. This identifies that much of the world’s known offshore fresh groundwater is being mined through onshore extractions, which is contrary to previous literature that treats offshore freshwater as potential new water source. Andrew’s findings are extremely relevant for those involved in the long-term management of coastal fresh groundwater resources, and coastal communities dependent on fresh groundwater.

Conceptual models generated through Andrew’s work show how offshore freshwater can influence onshore salinities, and support the idea that stable water levels and stable salinities may not indicate long-term aquifer stability. These models will assist water managers in the conceptualisation phase of coastal groundwater studies, improving freshwater resource allocations.

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