Professor Craig T. Simmons FTSE
Matthew Flinders Distinguished Professor &
Schultz Chair in the Environment, Flinders University
Director, National Centre for Groundwater Research and Training
Groundwater supplies half of the world’s drinking water and nearly half of the water used for growing food. It is front and centre in critical contemporary issues about our environment, food and water security, coal seam gas and fracking, mining, energy and nuclear waste disposal. Groundwater depletion and pollution are major global problems. Climate change and population growth will place additional stress on already stretched groundwater resources.
This talk explores the challenges and opportunities for groundwater: spanning critical social, economic and environmental dimensions; to management; to policy; to science and research; to education and training and the vital links between them.
Current and foreseeable groundwater problems are interesting, important, demanding and complex. To advance and solve these problems will require novel fundamental scientific understanding including new paradigms; educational reforms; sophisticated management and policy; the necessary capacity and capability; and the integration of complex and interdisciplinary social and biophysical approaches, data, knowledge and information.