Goulburn Murray Water

Tatura, Australia

Goulburn Murray Water

Tatura, Australia
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Price D.,Flood Forecasting Center | Hudson K.,Goulburn Murray Water | Boyce G.,Flood Forecasting Center | Moore R.J.,UK Center for Ecology and Hydrology | And 4 more authors.
Proceedings of the Institution of Civil Engineers: Water Management | Year: 2012

Following the summer 2007 floods in England and Wales, a new context for flood forecasting emerged through the recommendations set out in the Pitt review. This paper presents the operational challenges being addressed by the Flood Forecasting Centre (FFC) - a joint venture between the Environment Agency (EA) and the Met Office (MO) - to deliver forecasts of flood risk across England and Wales with longer lead times (out to 5 days ahead) and, on a shorter timescale, for rapid response catchments. These are both key recommendations of the Pitt review. As a joint venture, the FFC is uniquely placed to meet these objectives and, as a first step, has implemented a distributed hydrological model, grid-to-grid (G2G), calibrated across England and Wales, on the EA's national flood forecasting system. Also fundamental to successfully meeting these objectives is the FFC's ability to utilise the latest MO advances in high-resolution numerical weather prediction and nowcasting of rainfall, including forecasts in probabilistic form. Early results from applying the model to the Cumbria floods of November 2009 demonstrate that this is an effective approach for generating longer lead-time flood forecasts. The results also illustrate that this methodology is best used in combination with current regionally based flood forecasting tools.

Bowling L.C.,Office of Water | Bowling L.C.,University of New South Wales | Merrick C.,Office of Water | Swann J.,Khan Research Laboratories | And 3 more authors.
Harmful Algae | Year: 2013

Major cyanobacterial blooms (biovolume>4mm3L-1) occurred in the main water reservoirs on the upper Murray River, Australia during February and March 2010. Cyanobacterial-infested water was released and contaminated rivers downstream. River flow velocities were sufficiently high that in-stream bloom development was unlikely. The location has a temperate climate but experienced drought in 2010, causing river flows that were well below the long-term median values. This coupled with very low bed gradients meant turbulence was insufficient to destroy the cyanobacteria in-stream. Blooms in the upper 500km of the Murray and Edward Rivers persisted for 5 weeks, but in the mid and lower Murray blooms were confined to a small package of water that moved progressively downstream for another 650km. Anabaena circinalis was the dominant species present, confirmed by 16S rRNA gene sequencing, but other potentially toxic species were also present in smaller amounts. Saxitoxin (sxtA), microcystin (mcyE) and cylindrospermopsin (aoaA) biosynthesis genes were also detected, although water sample analysis rarely detected these toxins. River water temperature and nutrient concentrations were optimal for bloom survival. The operational design of weirs and retention times within weir pools, as well as tributary inflows to and diversions from the Murray River all influenced the distribution and persistence of the blooms. Similar flow, water quality and river regulation factors were underlying causes of another bloom in these rivers in 2009. Global climate change is likely to promote future blooms in this and other lowland rivers. © 2013 Elsevier B.V.

Dutta D.,CSIRO | Wilson K.,Goulburn Murray Water | Welsh W.D.,CSIRO | Nicholls D.,DA Nicholls Pty Ltd. | And 2 more authors.
Journal of Environmental Management | Year: 2013

The eWater Cooperative Research Centre of Australia has developed a river system modelling software called eWater Source that can be used to assist water managers and river operators in planning and operating river systems. It has been designed and developed within Australia to provide a consistent approach to underpin a wide range of water planning and management purposes. The software provides tools for the prediction and quantification of water from catchments to the end of a river system by integrating continuous rainfall-runoff and river system models. It includes three modes (catchment runoff, river management and river operations) for different applications. This paper introduces the operations mode of Source and compares its functionality with the existing tools used for daily river operations in Australia, with the Goulburn River as the case study. A 5-year period is used to compare modelled and observed results. Forecasts from Source and the existing tools are compared to observations over 7-day forecast periods that include an environmental water release. Source provided acceptable or improved results and required less user input than the existing method. Source provides a flexible software tool in which various forecast models can be incorporated. The application has demonstrated the potential of Source to provide an improvement on the existing river operations models in Australia at both the daily and seasonal time steps. © 2013 Elsevier Ltd.

Joy K.,Goulburn Murray Water | Cossens B.,Goulburn Murray Water
Proceedings of the 34th Hydrology and Water Resources Symposium, HWRS 2012 | Year: 2012

The Central Victorian Mineral Springs region has recently been included in a groundwater management area and a plan to manage local groundwater extraction is being developed. Developing a local management plan presents a number of challenges. The management area extends across two surface water catchments and is geologically complex. There is little information about spring discharge; and insufficient data about the location, values and water requirements of groundwater dependent ecosystems. There are also a number of stakeholders with different views about the extent and method of groundwater resource management required in the region. Goulburn-Murray Water's approach to management seeks to address this diverse range of groundwater uses, functions and values and develop a plan which supports sustainable and equitable use of groundwater in the region. © 2012 Engineers Australia.

Richards L.,Goulburn Murray Water | Cossens B.,Goulburn Murray Water
Proceedings of the 34th Hydrology and Water Resources Symposium, HWRS 2012 | Year: 2012

The Deep Lead aquifer in Victoria's Lower Campaspe Valley region has a history of groundwater use for irrigation dating back to the 1970s. Recently, a groundwater management plan for the Lower Campaspe Valley Water Supply Protection Area has been prepared to protect this high yielding and high quality resource. The Plan was developed by a committee consisting of key agencies and regional groundwater users and proposes important management changes including addressing impacts of locally intensive groundwater pumping, consideration of groundwater extraction impacts on the environment, and greater flexibility relating to groundwater trade and carryover. The Plan was built on a vastly improved understanding of the groundwater system including enhanced mapping of the aquifer extent; better knowledge of the water available for extraction under various climatic conditions; greater recognition buffering capacity of the aquifer system; an appreciation of the aquifer response to intensive groundwater pumping; identification of a hinge zone in the south; and determination of losses from the Campaspe River to the groundwater system. The background to, and content of, the recently developed groundwater management plan for the Lower Campaspe Valley Deep Lead aquifer is described, as are implications for future management of groundwater resources. © 2012 Engineers Australia.

Ortlipp G.,Goulburn Murray Water
Proceedings of the 34th Hydrology and Water Resources Symposium, HWRS 2012 | Year: 2012

Modernisation projects and Commonwealth purchases of water entitlements across the irrigation networks of Northern Victoria are increasing environmental water holdings. As a result, the delivery and accounting of environmental water has become a new and challenging task for Goulburn-Murray Water. Unlike conventional deliveries to irrigation customers where water is transferred via rivers and/or channels and measured on delivery through farm-gate meters, environmental water is often delivered within specific river reaches themselves. Water has been delivered at target flow rates at desired river gauging stations above normal operating levels. The challenge is to determine how to account for the volume of environmental water used taking into consideration gauged and ungauged tributary inflows, irrigation diversions, losses and existing minimum river flow requirements. Goulburn-Murray Water has had to develop methods for determining use and adapt them as more information became available. © 2012 Engineers Australia.

Wade A.,Aquade Groundwater Services | Cossens B.,Goulburn Murray Water
Hydrology and Water Resources Symposium 2014, HWRS 2014 - Conference Proceedings | Year: 2014

To inform a groundwater management plan for the Lower Campaspe Valley, a need was identified to improve understanding of stream-aquifer interaction along the Campaspe River. This required identifying where the river was gaining or losing, quantifying the leakage flux and assessing how it has changed over time. A review of available literature and water levels facilitated enhanced conceptualisation of the system and identified the key parameters to which flux is sensitive for discrete river reaches. The confined Campaspe Deep Lead aquifer, consisting of sands and gravels, is the main conduit for groundwater flow in the valley. It is hydraulically insulated, but not isolated, from the shallow groundwater and the river by clay aquitards of the Shepparton Formation. The Campaspe River is largely contained within the Coonambidgal Formation, which is the more recent shallow alluvial deposits on the flood plain. The river is hydraulically well connected to the sands of the Coonambidgal Formation. Key factors controlling flux from the river were found to be the width of the Coonambidgal, the location of the Deep Lead relative to the Coonambidgal, the vertical conductance of the Shepparton Formation and the head difference between the river and the Deep Lead. These parameters were assessed for discrete river reaches and calculations performed for the period of available groundwater monitoring data (1980-2010) to quantify the flux. These outputs were then used as inputs to a groundwater balance that informed the development of the groundwater management plan. A key finding of this work was that the River is naturally a losing stream which recharges the Deep Lead via the Coonambidgal and Shepparton Formations. The River has been regulated for decades using an upstream reservoir, Lake Eppalock, to maintain flow. In the Murray-Darling Basin, leakage from the rivers and streams, particularly where they pass from bedrock areas to the Riverine Plains, is considered to have been a long-term natural mechanism for recharge of the aquifers. In this environment, anthropogenic influences of both surface water regulation and confined-aquifer drawdown enhance recharge rates to the confined aquifers. This is not a form of Managed Aquifer Recharge (MAR) as it was not intentional. We propose a new acronym: Fortuitous Aquifer Recharge (FAR)!.

Phillips M.A.,URS Corporation | Maslin K.,URS Corporation | Reynolds A.,Goulburn Murray Water
International Water Power and Dam Construction | Year: 2011

Standing 600ft high, Dartmouth Dam is the highest dam in Australia with a storage capacity of nearly 3.1M acre-feet (3856GL), nearly seven times that of Sydney Harbor. A dam safety risk assessment completed in 2007 identified that the largest contributor to dam safety risk was flood overtopping. Based on the Australian National Committee on Large Dams (ANCOLD) Acceptable Flood Capacity Guidelines, extreme hazard category dams should target the flood capacity equivalent to the Probable Maximum Flood (PMF) as the long-term dam safety standard. When the studies for Dartmouth Dam were completed, URS recommended the Piano Key Weir combined with a parapet wall raise of the dam embankment to progress forward to detailed design. The decision took into account a number of factors, including construction risk, reduction in dam safety risk, capital and life-cycle costs, and potential construction staging.

Crossman N.D.,CSIRO | Connor J.D.,CSIRO | Bryan B.A.,CSIRO | Summers D.M.,CSIRO | Ginnivan J.,Goulburn Murray Water
Ecological Economics | Year: 2010

Over-allocation of fresh water resources to consumptive uses, coupled with recurring drought and the prospect of climate change, is compromising the stocks of natural capital in the world's basins and reducing their ability to provide water-dependent ecosystem services. To combat this, governments worldwide are making significant investment in efforts to improve the sharing of water between consumptive uses and the environment. Many investments are centred on the modernisation of inefficient irrigation delivery systems and the purchase of consumptive water for environmental flows. In this study, we applied spatial targeting within a cost-benefit framework to reconfigure agricultural land use in an irrigation district to achieve a 20% reduction in agricultural water use to increase environmental flows, and improve the provision of other ecosystem services. We demonstrate a targeted land use reconfiguration policy approach using spatial planning and optimisation models. Our model estimates a potential increase in the net present value of ecosystem services of up to $A 347 million. The increase in ecosystem services include recovering 62 GL of water for environmental flows, the sequestration of 10.6 million tonnes of CO2e/year, a 12 EC (μS/cm) reduction in river salinity, and an overall 9% increase in the value of agriculture. Without a spatially targeted approach to planning, a 20% reduction in water for irrigation could result in the loss of $A 68.7 million in economic returns to agriculture which may be only marginally offset by the increased value of ecosystem services resulting from the return of 62 GL of water to the environment. Crown Copyright © 2009.

Lovell D.,Goulburn Murray Water | Wang W.,Goulburn Murray Water
The Art and Science of Water - 36th Hydrology and Water Resources Symposium, HWRS 2015 | Year: 2015

Goulburn-Murray Water (GMW) manages water resources over a region of 68,000 square kilometres across northern Victoria. Its primary role is to harvest, store and deliver water on behalf of customers including irrigators, towns and the environment. It also has delegated responsibility to manage groundwater and surface water resources across its region. Australia's east coast experienced significant rainfall and widespread flooding in 2010/11, with GMW successfully routing several flood events through its storages. After extended drought, the experiences highlighted the need to improve the data available for flood routing operations to inform decision making. Major opportunities lay in improving the ability of GMW staff to forecast operating scenarios, quickly access and easily visualise hydrographic data. Additionally, the inability to instantaneously share monitoring information between staff led to additional workloads in a time critical circumstance. After significant business analysis, the Delft-FEWS application was identified as the most appropriate system for GMW to link forecasting models, inform flood operations and provide the operational overview of hydrographic information needed for day-to-day water resource management. This paper explores how the implementation of a dedicated hydrographic visualisation application has led to a fundamental shift within GMW's river operations. It investigates how improved system integration and real time data sharing assists GMW's flood routing ability and enables rapid adaptive management changes to meet new challenges such as environmental water delivery. Future opportunities resulting from greatly improved information and forecasting availability are discussed. Examples of these opportunities for GMW include using simulation of water releases and harvesting scenarios to reduce the risk of releases worsening floods downstream of storages and improving system efficiency and water savings by modelling the timing of releases to coincide with peak downstream flow events. © 2015, Engineers Australia. All rights reserved.

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