Surface water extraction
Surface water refers to water that exists above the ground including lakes, dams, rivers, streams, and the ocean. For the purpose of this guide, only land-based surface water supplies are considered – the ocean has been excluded. Surface water is extracted for a range of domestic and industrial purposes. The impact of surface water extraction depends on the volume of water removed, e.g. through pumping. The greater the volume of water removed the greater the impact.
The direct impacts of surface water extraction use may include:
- Reduced stream flow
- Altered water temperature
- Altered seasonal stream flow
- Direct removal of fish from the waterway, particularly larval fish.
- Reduced dam volume
- Reduced aquatic habitat
- Reduced water available for ecosystem functions and recreational purposes
- May result in less water being available to meet the needs of terrestial plants and animals
Last updated 7 September 2010