Engineers Australia

Groundwater quality in the Perth Region

Steven Appleyard

Abstract

Perth is the only major city in Australia located on a major resource of fresh groundwater and consequently groundwater provides about 70% of all water used in the city. Shallow groundwater beneath Perth is highly vulnerable to contamination from urban land use and historical waste disposal practices. The discharge of groundwater contaminated with nitrogen from excessive fertiliser use is also a significant environmental agent that is contributing to the degradation of aquatic environments in wetlands, the Swan estuary and the coastal marine environment in Perth.