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Google Challenge Grant - Dendrometers save trees from groundwater extraction

Funding or Partner Organisation: Google LLC (Google Global Impact Challenge (AU))

Start year: 2015

Summary: This project will use linear variable differential transducer (LVDT) technology and associated software to reduce the decline in vegetation growth arising from over extraction of groundwater from shallow aquifers. Over a two year period we shall demonstrate the linkages between patterns of groundwater (GW) extraction and the provision of ecosystem services provided by groundwater dependent vegetation. Many tree roots access groundwater and removing too much groundwater or at rates that are too fast, results in damage to vegetation that is reliant on GW supplies. Such vegetation is important for (i) maintaining soil stability, (ii) providing firewood, (iii) providing forage and shelter for humans and cattle, (iv) providing building materials. Such resources are especially important in arid and semi-arid regions where GW is the principal reliable source of potable water.

Keywords: Groundwater Dependent Ecosystems, groundwater, tree physiology

FOR Codes: Ecosystem Function, Forest and Woodlands Water Management, Natural Resource Management, Expanding Knowledge in the Environmental Sciences, Terrestrial systems and management not elsewhere classified, Terrestrial erosion