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Dartmouth College

Publication Date

Fall 2009

Program Name

Australia: Sustainability and the Environment

Abstract

At a time when the future of fresh water resources in Australia becomes more unpredictable as a result of global climate change, it will become necessary to look for new alternative sources of fresh water. Reclaimed wastewater is an important fresh water resource that will become increasingly important. One strategy to augment the public water supply is to inject and store reclaimed water underground, then to pump it out of the aquifer and treated to drinking water standards. This is known as Aquifer Storage and Recovery (ASR) and similar schemes have been established in the United States, United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, South Africa and Israel.

This report examines the feasibility of using ASR to supply water to the towns of Evans Head and Ballina. Using available hydrogeological data, I analyzed the potential for each aquifer to transport the flow of wastewater. I also determined adverse interactions that may take place between the injected reclaimed wastewater and ambient groundwater, and how to treat these problems. Basic plans for treatment are advised.

Based on the data I have analyzed, I have determined that pending further study, ASR is feasible in this region. While this report is by no means comprehensive, it provides a starting point for designing an ASR scheme in this area.

Disciplines

Natural Resources Management and Policy

 

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