Freshwater Resources of the Tropical North of Australia: A Hydrobiological Perspective

Dilwyn J. Griffiths
School of Biological Sciences, James Cook University, Queensland, Australia

Series: Water Resource Planning, Development and Management
BISAC: TEC010030




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The tropical north of Australia covers almost half of the country’s total land area, is occupied by no more than about 5% of the total population, and yet has been estimated to account for close to 70% of the country’s potential freshwater resources. The region experiences strong climatic variability, both spatially and seasonally, with large areas subject to long dry periods interspersed by short periods of torrential rain.

This book presents an overview of the freshwater resources of a region that has undergone a period of intense development (agricultural, industrial and social) over recent decades and for which is predicted a continuing period of development into the future. The author describes how the availability of surface, groundwater and stored freshwater, in terms of both quantity and quality, will continue to be the major factor influencing such development. It will also highlight how the emphasis on ensuring year-round water supply has, in recent decades, shifted to one of management to ensure sustainability of this vital resource and maintenance of the ecological health of what is known to be a fragile ecosystem.

This book draws on the author’s 25+ years of experience as a professional biologist living and working (as a teacher/researcher) in the tropical north of Australia, a region which in light of strengthening trade and other links between Australia and its neighbouring south-east Asian countries, is likely to become of increasing international significance in the future. (Imprint: Nova)




Chapter 1. Climate, Geomorphology and Soil, Vegetation, and Wetlands

Chapter 2. Fitzroy River Basin/Rockhampton Region

Chapter 3. Central Queensland and the Bowen-Mackay Region

Chapter 4. Burdekin River Region

Chapter 5. Townsville/Charters Towers Region

Chapter 6. Wet Tropics of Coastal Northern Queensland

Chapter 7. Cape York Peninsula

Chapter 8. Gulf Country

Chapter 9. Mount Isa Mines and the Mount Isa Region

Chapter 10. Inland Arid Region

Chapter 11. Rivers and Wetlands of the Northern Territory

Chapter 12. Ord River Region

Chapter 13. Kimberley/Pilbara Region

Chapter 14. Conclusions


About the Author


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