Groundwater contained in coastal aquifers is a vital freshwater resource in Australia. Coastal freshwater aquifers provide water for many important uses including town and domestic water supplies, irrigation of crops and pastures and industrial processes. Coastal aquifers also provide base flow to creeks and rivers during dry periods, thus supporting diverse ecosystems.
Population growth and drought have placed additional pressure on already scarce coastal fresh water resources in Australia. Seawater intrusion can increase the salinity of coastal groundwater resources and render them unsuitable for irrigation or potable supply. Climate change and sea level rise also have the potential to affect both the yield and quality of coastal aquifer systems.