Groundwater interception scheme

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When groundwater recharges to surface water streams (like rivers) it will add salt to the rivers. In some cases, the volume of salts may increase the salt load to unacceptable levels. Groundwater flow is a non-point source contributor, and interception of groundwater recharge requires interception along a stretch of the surface water stream. The interception of groundwater occurs through a set of groundwater pumps. The intercepted water is disposed of in evaporation ponds, thus extracting the salt from the water flow system.

Groundwater interception in South Australia

In South Australia, a state within Australia at the downstream end of the Murray-Darling river system, irrigation on the banks of the river mobilized salts into the groundwater. Since the river is incised into the landscape, a gradient towards the river exists, and a saline groundwater flow exists towards the river. A set of groundwater pumps collects the groundwater and reduces the gradient towards the river. Saline water is pumped into ponds, which are used for fish production [1].

Reduction of salinity

In Australia, the collective volume of water intercepted per year is estimated as 55,000,000 m3, corresponding to a salt mass of 490,000 tonnes[2] to 550,000 tonnes[3].


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