In Australia, the driest inhabited continent in the world, groundwater is vital to survival and the success of industry that earns the nation $34 billion per year, according to a release from the National Center for Groundwater Research and Training.
More than 90 percent of the fresh water in Australia is underground. A new report from the National Center for Groundwater Research and Training and Deloitte Access Economics says that about 89 percent of groundwater used annually is for agriculture, mining and manufacturing. Drinking water makes up 11 percent of annual use.
The report estimates that the sustainable reserve for Australia’s groundwater is 29,173 gigaliters. Australians withdrawal around 3,500 gigaliters each year. In total, 6,544 gigaliters are licensed to be withdrawn.