The Great Artesian Basin (GAB) is a regional groundwater system recognised internationally for its significance both as a reliable water source and in facilitating development within Australia’s semi-arid to arid interior. Notably, the GAB’s unique hydrogeological features also result in natural discharge areas, including spring wetlands intrinsically linked to cultural values and endemic flora and fauna.
This presentation will provide an overview and context for this session of the conference. The content will include a brief synopsis of the values of spring wetlands, the evolution of spring knowledge, and the importance of multidisciplinary science to improve understanding of the ecohydrological processes at GAB springs. The overarching theme will be the challenge of balancing emerging water demands and threats, scientific uncertainty and conservation outcomes.