Studying Notes

Topics: Aquifer, Irrigation, Hydrology Pages: 5 (1858 words) Published: May 31, 2013
“Is enough been done to counteract the effects of salinity in the Chowilla Region?” INTRODUCTION
Chowilla Region is located in the river lands, 50km from Renmark, South Australia, commonly used for recreational use (, 2012). Chowilla is a peaceful place, used to get away from the hectic pace of current life. The region is considered a Game Reserve and monitored by the Berri National Park headquarters. It also has the largest remaining native Riverine forest in South Australia, described as a tranquil escape (Explore Australia, 2012). It is a great tourist destination as it offers relaxing outdoor activities such as canoeing, hiking, swimming and many more. As this region is widely used for many uses, the effect of salinity can prevent the recreational use and destroy the region. As preliminary research revealed a diverse range of opinions, this study focuses solely on the counteraction of salinity within the Chowilla Region. This investigation uses primary and secondary resources to gather suitable information. While secondary sources, such as reliable internet sites, YouTube clips were observed and watched to form opinion and gather information. One interview was conducted with Chowilla National park officer, from the Berri National park headquarters, to find information and gather personal opinion on the impact of salinity within Chowilla region. The information was relevant as it expressed the personal opinion and the observation of the person. What is salinity?

Salinity occurs when salty groundwater is close to the soil surface. Generally when the groundwater table is within two meters of the soil surface, usually close to the root zone. Air pores within the unsaturated zones act as sponges drawing up the salty water to the soil surface; this is known as capillary rise (, 2012).

Figure 1 Water Table levels
Water flow occurs, when different water levels flow within certain zones. In reference to figure 1 the levels are shown as surface top (plants), unsaturated root zone, unsaturated subsoil (no roots), and saturated groundwater within the groundwater table. The unsaturated zones are the portion of subsurface above the groundwater table. Within this zone the soil and rock contains air as well as water in it pores (USGS Groundwater Information, 2012). Within the saturated zone, the pores are filled with water. In the unsaturated zone, water moves downward within the root and subsoil zone due to gravity, but in the saturation zone it moves in a direction determined by the heights of water and the location (Groundwater, 2012) Salinity is within the Chowilla region; the comment made during the interview was that the salinity is very noticeable on the outer of the floodplain and not so evident within the flow of the river. The Chowilla region has one lock located within the reserve, lock 6. A lock is a rectangular chamber which has gates at each end. Locks allow boats to shift from one water level to another. Each lock in the Murray River system has different water levels. The different water levels are they to control the flow, amount of water used for irrigation and preventing wasted water in an event of a flood. When the gates close they form a ‘V’ which is against the current and upstream water pressure, this helps as it makes a watertight seal. The pressure of the water within the lock chamber keeps the downstream gates closed. With most locks a weir is there to adjust the flow traits. Most weirs take the appearance of a barrier, smaller than most regular dams, across a river that causes water to collect behind a structure and allows water to flow over the top. Weirs are usually used to change the flow system of the river, preventing flooding and measure discharge and help make the river navigable. With the exclusion of Weir 6, Murtho, the weir pool of each storage enlarges to the storage upstream (Darling Basin Commission, 2012). Therefore, the River Murray between Blanchetown and...
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