Archive for 2013

IAH Christmas Break-up and Presentation: Leading Practice Framework for Coal Seam Gas Development in Australia

Come and join us for our annual Christmas breakup and presentation by Louise Lennon from SKM titled “Leading Practice Framework for Coal Seam Gas Development in Australia”. Food and drink to follow the presentation.

Come Join us

10th December 2014

5:30 pm for a 6 pm start.

Sinclair Knight Merz

Level 16, 452 Flinders Lane, Melbourne.

About the presentation and presenter

The Leading Practice Framework for CSG Development in Australia was developed for the Commonwealth Department of Resources Energy and Tourism (DRET). The work was done for the federal government to support the development of the National Harmonised Framework of CSG Development. Louise will set the scene providing an overview of the framework and key technical issues (around well integrity, water management, hydraulic fracturing and chemical use) and potential management and regulatory responses that could be adopted to minimise risks associated with CSG development.

Louise Lennon is a Senior Hydrogeologist and manager of SKM’s Victorian groundwater practice. Louise co-authored the recent work in developing the Leading Practice Framework for CSG Development in Australia.

SA IAH Chapter/NCGRT groundwater modellers’ forum #3

IAH Australia and the NCGRT have joined up to present a series of groundwater modelling forums.  This series is an opportunity for Adelaide’s groundwater modellers to come together and discuss a host of issues relevant to consultancies, agencies and researchers.


Predicting the impacts of climate change on groundwater resources is not a straightforward exercise, given the ‘cascade of uncertainty’ that occurs when outputs from one model are used as inputs to another which has its own uncertainties and simplifications. The desire for simplicity and ‘magic’ number answers may result in highly misleading outcomes from such predictions. Four experts will briefly discuss the various modelling processes and associated uncertainties before a spirited open discussion about possible best practice methodologies to prevent misunderstandings and distorted predictions of groundwater impacts.


  • Russell Crosbie – Climate models
  • Graham Green – Rainfall/recharge models
  • Craig Simmons – Groundwater models
  • Hugh Middlemis – Groundwater modelling guidelines

Date: Wednesday 18th December
Time: 1:00-3:00pm (afternoon tea will be provided)
Location: Flinders University City Campus Level 1, Room 1,  182 Victoria Square Adelaide SA 5000 (NE Corner, former Reserve Bank)

To register click here

Download flyer:

Groundwater modellers forum #3


IAH-NSW Chapter End of the Year Note!

Dear IAH-NSW friends,

We held the last technical talk of 2013 on the 12th November. We had a busy 2013 and are all buckled-up for an even busier 2014. Since we’d love to end  2013 posts on a positive note, let’s have a look at our recipients of the Young Professional Award (YPA) in 2013.

Ms Ellen Kwantes  (from PB) received the prestigious title of the Young Professional this year while Ms Tingting Liu (from Hydrosimulations)and Mr Angus McFarlane (from PB) were recognised for their outstanding professional performance and received the Runner Upper Certificate.

Ms Ellen Kwantes and Ms Tingting Liu Angus McFarlane

We wish them all well and hope to see them thrive further as they progress in their careers.

Western Australian AGM and Student Night

Wednesday 20 November 2013

5:30 socialising, 6:00 pm program start

The Melbourne Hotel, corner of Hay and Milligan Streets

The Western Australian Chapter will hold their Annual General Meeting and the 2013 Student Night at the Melbourne Hotel.

This is an important opportunity for you to get involved and become a committee member for 2014. Last year’s committee, and nominations for 2014 are shown below.  Note that you can nominate yourself (or a friend, with their permission) for ANY position on the board. The position descriptions are shown on a separate page. Fill out the nomination form: IAH_CommitteeRolesPositions_NominationForm_2014.doc and BRING IT ALONG or mail it to the Secretary Mariajose Romero-Segura. You can also get a form on the night (and even a pen).

We will also be going out to dinner afterwards as a group to the Melbourne Hotel.  Please let Mariajose Romero-Segura if you’d like to join the fun so we can reserve tables.


Current Officer



Chairperson – State Liaison Grant Bolton Grant Bolton
Vice Chairperson Ian Brandes de Roos Ian Brandes de Roos
Secretary Mariajose Romero-Segura Mariajose Romero-Segura
Treasurer Peter de Broekert  Peter de Broekert
Meetings Secretary Carl Davies

Carl Davies

Ministerial  Liaison Jed Youngs Keith Brown

Jed Youngs

Education Representative Ryan Vogwill Ryan Vogwill
Media Liaison Robin Smith Robin Smith
Membership Champion Genevieve Marchand Genevieve Marchand
Presenter and Seminar Coordinator Geoff Pettifer Pauline Amez-Droz
Presenter and Seminar Assistant Geoff Pettifer
Sponsorship Champion Bradley van Blomestein Bradley van Blomestein
Newsletter Champion Keith Brown Keith Brown (combined with Ministerial liaison)
Newsletter Assistant Gillian Hurding Pauline Amez-Droz Gillian Hurding
Web Champion Lynn Reid Eduardo de Sousa Lynn Reid
Web Assistant John Enkelmann Lynn Reid and John Enkelmann
State Liaison Philip Commander Philip Commander
ECHN Champion Rachel Wroe
Student Champion Gemma Bloomfield

Presentations will follow the AGM.  Three students will present their research and vie for a $500 prize.  Their research topics and a brief abstract are shown below.

Alexander Salomon – Honours Student Curtin University

 Distribution and possible sources of high nitrate concentrations in groundwater aquifers used for potable supply in Aboriginal communities, Central Western Australia.

High levels of naturally occurring nitrate are present in many of the groundwater aquifers which supply potable water to remote Aboriginal communities of the northern Goldfields and southern Pilbara regions. Recent monitoring conducted by the Remote Areas Essential Services Program (RAESP) has indicated that concentrations in some communities far exceed the Australian Drinking Water Guideline (ADWG) health thresholds. Nitrate levels also fluctuate significantly over time, with possible links to climate, making it difficult to plan and implement treatment processes to reduce nitrate concentrations in the potable supply. While nitrate contamination is usually associated with anthropogenic sources, it is suggested that the high concentrations of nitrate in central Western Australia are naturally occurring due to the low population density and highly isolated and pristine nature of these communities. Three potential nitrate sources have been identified, including nitrogen fixation by bacteria on the roots of Acacia species, solubilisation of ammonia rich waste metabolites from termite mounds, and nitrogen in the surrounding geology (in particular evaporite deposits and organic rich sediments). Leaching studies undertaken have demonstrated that, of the three potential source materials, termite mounds in particular may well be capable of producing leachate rich enough in nitrate to potentially affect the groundwater. It is hoped that a new understanding of the probable nitrate source will assist development of bore field management strategies that seek to minimise nitrate levels in potable supply.


Nicholas Wright – Honours Student Curtin

Hydrogeology and Hydrochemistry of the Unconfined Aquifer of the Broome Peninsula

To further the ongoing investigations in to the Lyngbya blooms in Roebuck Bay a hydrogeological and hydrochemical investigation of the Broome Peninsula was completed with significant results. The unconfined aquifer of the Broome Peninsula is made of an 8-12 m thick layer of Pindan Sand underlain by Broome Sandstone. A multifaceted empirical approach was taken to quantify the hydraulic conductivity of the surficial sediments, which suggested a horizontal hydraulic conductivity of 1.7 m/day for the Pindan Sand. Groundwater levels were typically elevated in the centre of the peninsula and were lowest near the ocean. This confirms previous investigations which indicated that groundwater outflow to the ocean occurs on all sides of the Broome Peninsula, excluding the area to the North East where groundwater inflow from the regional unconfined aquifer occurs. Given that most wastewater disposal sites are south of the centre of the Peninsula, any contamination present will be migrating towards Roebuck Bay.

Nutrient contamination was clearly identified and the associated submarine groundwater discharge (SGD) flux was estimated, including the likely range. In most instances these locations were directly linked to the wastewater treatment facility and wastewater disposal sites located within Broome. The causal relationship between nutrient contamination and Lyngbya blooms has been well established in previous works. The current study indicates that there is significant potential for nutrients from wastewater disposal in Broome to be contributing to Lyngbya blooms in Roebuck Bay via groundwater pathways.


John Hemson – Honours Student UWA

 Interaction between waste fines and groundwater; implication on water quantity and quality of a Channel Iron Deposit aquifer.

The Rio Tinto (RTIO) Yandicoogina (Yandi) mining operation is located approximately 85km northwest of Newman within the East Pilbara shire, Western Australia. The mining operation consists of extracting profitable ore from the largest Channel Iron Deposit (CID) discovered worldwide. To meet market product specifications, the ore is refined through a beneficiation process, leaving a waste fines product that is stored on site as a slurry composition in purposely built waste fine cells (WFC’s) within the mined out CID. The aim of this study is to investigate the effect of storing the waste fines slurry in WFC’s on the underlying groundwater quality and quantity, in pit water levels and the dewatering regime; a prerequisite for improved water management on site.

An integrated investigation into aquifer hydraulics and environmental tracers; chloride (Cl-) and stable isotopes (Deuterium (δ2H), Oxygen (δ18O)) are used to trace and quantify seepage from WFC2. The water stored within WFC2 has increased Cl- concentrations, enriched δ2H and δ18O signatures in comparison to groundwater within the underlying aquifer. This is a result of the water stored in WFC2 being exposed to a high degree of evaporation. A shallow seepage flow path exists between WFC2 and the down gradient section of the CID as the Cl- concentrations and δ2H and δ18O signatures in the shallow monitoring bores and the down gradient sump approach those within WFC2. From December 2012 onwards; the water abstracted by the down gradient sump is 100% WFC2 seepage. An analytical WFC2 water balance as well as a Cl- and stable isotope mass balance has accurately quantified seepage into the underlying aquifer and the down gradient mining pits. Over time, as the volume of water stored within WFC2 increases, an elevated hydraulic head and a steeper hydraulic gradient has been created between WFC2, underlying aquifer and the down gradient section of the CID, resulting in greater seepage. Therefore, the seepage from WFC2 has caused elevated in pit water levels, manifested by increased sump pumping rates to maintain dry in pit mining conditions, allowing efficient extraction of the economic ore. Overall, this study has provided essential information to refine the RTIO Yandi water balance, an important requirement in the production of sustainable water management and the formulation of a realistic closure plan.

CSG Groundwater Monitoring Communications Survey

This survey has been prepared as part of an overall study examining the following two hypotheses:


  1. Groundwater monitoring information, if comprehensive, accurate and suitably presented, can alleviate community and regulatory concerns about groundwater impacts from CSG operations.
  2. The current level of scientific research is addressing community and regulatory concerns about impacts from CSG extraction.


The study is being undertaken by three independent groundwater specialists – a hydrogeological consultant, a lecturer in hydrogeology and a social scientist specialising in groundwater issues.  The study is unfunded, is not associated with any particular group or ideology and the proponents are neither for nor against CSG development.

It is intended that the survey will be used to inform a paper being prepared by the three proponents, to be published in a peer-reviewed journal such as the Hydrogeology Journal (if accepted).  The paper will examine what information would be included in an ideal CSG groundwater monitoring program, and in what ways would this information be best communicated in order to provide maximum credibility and assurance to local communities and regulators.

To take this short survey go to:

IAH-NSW Chapter: Braddon Site Remediation

Dear IAH friends,

Our next and last technical talk for this calendar year will be by Dino Parisotto director of Earth2Water to be presented on 12 November 2013.

With over 20 years experience in contaminated land investigations, assessment, management and remediation, Dino will discuss the works undertaken and the outcomes achieved at the former service station at Braddon Site. The talk will be held at PB offices in Sydney CBD, with 5.30 to 6pm start. For more information please click here.

VIC IAH Branch Field Trip 2013: The Lake Connewarre

IAH and AIG invite you to attend this year’s inaugural joint field trip to be held on Saturday November 23rd 2013.

The trip will explore the hydrogeology and geomorphology of the lower Barwon River, through a guided tour of sites along this internationally protected wetland complex. Topics will include the geological, geomorphological and hydrological evolution of the area, and how these interact with the groundwater/surface water system, geological hazards, ecosystems and new land development.

Guides on the tour will be Dr Peter Dahlhaus (Federation University) and Dr Matt Currell (RMIT).

Proposed Itinerary

9:00 – Meet at bus in CBD (corner of Franklin and Swanston Streets)

10:00 – 12:00 – Lake Connewarre & Reedy Lake geological and groundwater sites tour

12:30 – 2:00 – Pub lunch in Barwon Heads

2:00 – 3:30 – Barwon Heads Bluff; Ocean Grove sand spit tour

4:30 – Return to CBD

Members are requested to pay a fee of $25 ($30 non-members), to cover trip costs.

Payments can be made by direct debit to:

Bank: National Australia Bank

Account Name: International Association of Hydrogeologists Victorian Branch

BSB: 083-298

Account No: 61-508-8037

Please include your name in the transaction & contact the undersigned to confirm your payment.

RSVP – 14th November 2013

 by email: or

We look forward to seeing you there!!

Please feel free to distribute this information to your colleauges, click below for a flyer:

IAH Field Trip 23 Nov 13


Dewatering in the Australian mining and oil & gas industries

Wednesday 16 October 2013

If you missed it, this presentation is now available at Airwell’s website!

Alan Brown will provide an overview of issues that need to be considered when undertaking a dewatering project before preparing reports and making recommendations to the clients. Using Alan’s extensive experience in providing pumping solutions for dewatering issues, Alan will take an in-depth look into five main areas that need to be considered:

  1. Location — distance from infrastructure to operate a pumping system such as electrical power and the cost to establish.
  2. Variable flow rates — in most dewatering situations the initial flow rates may be high but the flow rates are likely to fall as the dewatering project progresses.  Pumps initially installed may no longer be suitable to handle these lower flow rates.
  3. Water conditions — water conditions vary from site to site and even bore to bore. From high pH readings to bores containing significant amounts of grit or suspended solids.  Many pumps cannot operate long term in some of these conditions.
  4. Costs — With lower commodity prices and global market uncertainty, without exception all mining and oil and gas companies are critically reviewing the cost of every project before implementation. All product and service providers are expected to produce a solution or product that is cost acceptable to them.
  5. OH&S, site safety and operational issues — Can the recommended solution be implemented safely with minimal operational disturbance to the site and ongoing mine site safety?

Alan will detail what Airwell is doing to overcome many of these key factors and provide an overview of Airwell designs and initiatives for dewatering and gas well control management equipment.

Following the presentation will be time for a question and answer session.


OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAPresenter Alan Brown is the founder and inventor of the Airwell Direct Air Displacement Pumping system and the current Management Director of Airwell Group Pty Ltd. He has devoted much of the past 30 years to improving the original Airwell pumping system and the custom designing of systems to suit pumping situations for many of Australia’s largest mining and industrial companies. Alan’s extensive knowledge of all pumping methods allows him to design systems incorporating a number of pumping methods to provide the best solution to the client.


HeadShot DavidDavid Thatcher has been working for Airwell Group since 2011 and manages the sales and marketing activities both in WA and nationally. David’s computing skills also makes him popular in he office. He as a bachelor’s degree in Commerce with majors in Marketing and PR from Curtin University.

Airwell Group



Company Airwell Group Pty Ltd is the manufacturer and supplier of the unique Airwell Direct Air Displacement water pumping systems.  In addition to Airwell customises and provides specialised pumping solutions to all industries for dewatering, pollution recovery and explosive environment.  Our products and services include:

  • Pump Flow Testing services
  • Environment bore sampling services
  • Bore, sump and floating Airwell pumps
  • Intrinsically safe pumping systems
  • Remote telemetry options
  • A full range of electric pumps and other pump methods
  • Sales, hire, installation and service of all pumping equipment 


IAH-NSW Proudly Presents: 2013 Student Night

Dear IAH-NSW friends, on October 15th we proudly present our  student presenters for 2013.

Richard Rosendorff an Honours student from UNSW, will present his talk on “Identification of fractures in the Hawkesbury Sandstone using Ground-Penetrating Radar’.

Ground-Penetrating Radar (GPR) is a non-invasive geophysical technique that allows for imaging of the shallow sub-surface. There has been a need to understand the alteration of fracture networks caused by long wall mining related subsidence. This is especially apparent in areas where an aquifer overlies the mining panels e.g. the Waratah Rivulet. If the natural local fracture network is altered this may cause a disruption in the surface water – groundwater flow, ultimately leading to a change in local catchment supply. By combining field mapping of fractures, aerial photographs, and GPR data in 3D modelling software it was possible to visualise the fracture networks and detect various sub surface fractures. Presentation file can be viewed here.

Michael Short, a PhD student from ANU will present his talk on: “Where’s the plug? 200 years of fluctuating water levels at Lake George”.

Ever since its discovery in the early 19th century, the fluctuating water levels of Lake George, located in the Southern Tablelands, have intrigued locals, tourist and scientists alike. Many complex and unbelievable theories have been put forward to explain this phenomenon but the truth lies in the fine balance between rainfall, surface runoff and evaporation. This presentation will describe current knowledge of the Lake George Basin hydrological system and the methods that will be used to gain a better understanding of salt accumulation processes within this small endorheic basin.

We encourage you to join us on this very special night to keep in touch with the younger generation of professionals and where their interests lie. for more information on time and venue please click here.

VIC IAH Branch Student Night

A night for students to showcase their hydrogeological work


Sanjeeva Manamperi (La Trobe University): ‘Impacts of episodic flooding on groundwater resources in the Loddon system, Victoria’

Nic Unland (Monash University): ‘Tracing the age, origins and hydrodynamics of groundwater surface water exchange’

Stephen Lee (RMIT): “Investigating salinity sources and variation throughout flow system changes in Western Port, south-east Australia”

Come Join Us

Tuesday 8th October 2013

RMIT building 56,
Level 6, Theatre 82

5:30pm for a 6pm start