Journal of the Department of Agriculture, Western Australia, Series 4


T T. Bestow


Groundwater, Water supply, Saline water, Western Australia

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Underground water originates from rainfall. The size of the underground recource in any region is broadly related to the amount of rainfall. However, rainfall intensity and seasonal distribution are just as importent as the quality. A relatively small annual fall which consists of a series of heasvy showers or storms close together, may be a more effective source of recharge to underground water than a larger fall that is more evenly distributed over a longer period.

A large annual rainfall, however, is no guarantee that underground water supplies will be readily available. This is because soils and the underlying rocks allow water to infiltrate and move through them with differing degrees of difficulty. Similarly, soils and rocks can store vastly varying amounts of water.

Underground water is not evenly distributed. Australia, particularly south-western Australia, is rather poorly endowed in comparison with areas elsewhere which have a similar rainfall.