Archive for 2013

IAH Australia Newsletter Q2 2013

To IAH members and associates

The IAH Australian Newsletter for Q2 2013 is now available for download.

Click here to view:  IAH Newsletter – Q2 2013

IAH-NSW Chapter 2013 Darcy Lecture

Dear IAH friends,

IAH NSW and the Engineers Australia Sydney Division Water Engineering Panel proudly present the 2013 Darcy Lecture, with a presentation by Professor David L. Rudolph, a geological engineer in the Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences at the University of Waterloo.

Professor Rudolph  will be talking on the matter of managing Groundwater Beneath the Agricultural Landscape.

We hope to see you on Wednesday 4th September, 6 to 8 pm at AECOM (Level 21, 420 George Street, Sydney). For more information on the topic and the venue click here.

Models in mining: art and science in modelling

Wednesday 21 August 2013

5:30 socialising, 6:00 pm program start

The Melbourne Hotel, corner of Hay and Milligan Streets

KeithBrownModelling

Abstract:

Talk to any miner and ask what their biggest issue is and its invariably something to do with water; too much; too little; wrong place; wrong time. In an operational mining space plans are transient and we as hydrogeological practitioners in the industry need to be looking at ways that we can help the mining process either through enabling smoother operations or allowing the miner to have the flexibility to sprint or stall without being penalised by water issues. Wednesday’s talk by Keith Brown discusses some alternative options available in the modelling space that may help.

Biography:

Keith Brown from Rio Tinto has worked in the groundwater industry for more than twenty five years; for the last decade he has worked in Western Australia mainly in iron ore.  He has developed and run integrated mine groundwater management strategies, including models, that encompass all phases of the mine asset from conceptual, through to the planning and construction of operational mines and mine closure.

 

IAH VIC – 2013 Darcy Lecture: Managing Groundwater Beneath the Agricultural Landscape

Agricultural land use represents the largest nonpoint source threat to groundwater quality on a global scale. As a result of decades of fertilizer application and surface spreading of animal manure, chronic increases in nutrient concentrations have been documented in both private and municipal well systems. The occurrence of pathogenic microbes in groundwater supply wells has also been associated with agricultural practices at the land surface. Beneficial management practices (BMPs) designed to reduce the risk of groundwater quality impacts in agricultural environments are being implemented worldwide, yet very little data are available to assess the performance of these BMPs.

The complexities associated with variable mass loading to the water table will be explored, considering regional recharge distributions. The role of the vadose zone in controlling subsurface redistribution, and as an archive of past land-use activities, will also be considered relative to the legacy of agricultural impacts on groundwater quality. The performance of a regional-scale BMP program designed to reduce nutrient loading to the subsurface in the vicinity of an impacted municipal groundwater supply system will be evaluated based on more than a decade of field monitoring evidence. The utility of a targeted in situ denitrification approach designed as a remedial strategy to temporarily augment the BMP program in the vicinity of the municipal wells will be addressed based on the results of field experiments.

Finally, the potential influence of extreme climatic variability on the mobility of nutrients and microbial species in agricultural environments will be explored relative to aquifer and well vulnerability.

About the speaker

David L. Rudolph, Ph.D.,PE, a geological engineer, is the 2013 Darcy Lecturer. He is a professor in the Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences and cross-appointed to the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at the University of Waterloo. He specializes and teaches in the areas of regional hydrogeology and groundwater protection and management.

Come join us

9th September 2013, 12:30 pm

GHD Long Room, Level 8, 180 Lonsdale Street, Melbourne

Guests are to meet in the foyer and will then be escorted to the Long Room.

Some light refreshments will be provided.

The use and abuse of the precautionary principle

The NSW Protection of the Environment Administration Act (PEAA) 1991, provides the following definition of the Precautionary Principle (PP): “If there are threats of serious or irreversible environmental damage, lack of full scientific certainty should not be used as a reasoning for postponing measures to prevent environmental degradation.”

The PP is routinely applied in Groundwater Management. In this context, implementation of the PP typically involves a conservative approach to large-scale management of the resource in which sustainable diversion limits (SDLs) are more likely to be underestimated than overestimated.  For example, in the Murray Darling Basin (MDB), extraction limits for confined aquifers have been based on output from models which simulate the impacts of future groundwater extraction and which have uncertainty associated with them. The sustainable extraction rate derived from the model is scaled down based on model uncertainty to provide an extraction limit that incorporates a “factor of safety”.

On a more local scale, the PP is often applied in decisions about individual groundwater licence applications to account for uncertainty in characterisation of the local hydrogeology. However, there is always some uncertainty. Thus, the decision as to whether the PP should be applied for any particular licence application is somewhat subjective.

It is important not only to manage groundwater resources both regionally and locally in a sustainable manner but in a manner that also ensures they are not unnecessarily locked up. This is recognised in the recently published Sustainable Water Strategies (SWS) in Victoria.

The NSW (PEAA) 1991 also states “In the application of the principle… decisions should be guided by: (i) careful evaluation to avoid, wherever practicable, serious or irreversible damage to the environment; and (ii) an assessment of risk-weighted consequence of various options”.

Rather than routinely applying the PP to conservatively estimate sustainable extraction limits on a whole-aquifer scale or to account for uncertainty in local licence applications, it is important to assess the consequences/risks of both underallocation and overallocation and to facilitate adaptability in management of the resource. In the MDB example above, the consequences would be quite different.

 

Speakers

Associate Professor John Webb, La Trobe University

Alan Wade, Principal Hydrogeologist, Aquade Groundwater Services

 

Come Join Us

Date: 6th August 2013

Time: 5:30pm for a 6pm start

Location: RMIT, Academic Building 80 Rm: 80-09-12 (Level 9)

(located at 445 Swanston Street, on the west side of Swanston Street)

 

No need to RSVP

 

 

Darwin Seminar

The McEllhiney Lecture along with a seminar of local talks took place in Darwin on the 24th of June. Attendance was good and an enjoyable time was had by all. Copies of some of the talks are now available in pdf format. More to follow when available.

The NT Government’s unconventional hydrocarbons policy… Alan Holland

Investigating groundwater recharge and discharge processes in the arid Ti Tree Basin, NT using multiple tracers…Cameron Wood

Springs of the Northern Territory……. Steven Tickell

 

Keeping the Pump Primed: Aquifer Sustainability

Please join us for the 2013 McEllhiney Lecture by John Jansen

July 10 2013, 5:00 pm start for 5:45 lecture

Melbourne Hotel, corner of Hay and Milligan Streets

John joins us in the midst of his world tour, courtesy of the US-based National Ground Water Association.  Please show him a strong Western Australian welcome.

Abstract

How will your groundwater resources fare in the future and how will that affect your business? How can we ensure the sustainability of our aquifers through sound science? How should groundwater contractors and scientists confront economic and political challenges affecting the resource that is pivotal to the success of their businesses? How is “sustainability” defined and what tools and strategies can be used to protect groundwater systems as well as those who obtain and develop it? What information must be gathered and compiled to build consensus and present a compelling case to regulators and policymakers?

By attending John Jansen’s 2013 McEllhiney Lecture presentation, you will gain an understanding of:
  • How several different definitions of “sustainability” apply to the management of an aquifer, and how these different definitions may affect your business
  • States’ varying approaches to aquifer management, reflecting their local conditions and history — with specific considerations of how the approach in your state affects you and your business
  • How regulatory practices are evolving, and why they must balance local economic and political realties with environmental needs to be accepted and successful
  • Meaningful ways that you provide information and build consensus, to help the regulatory evolution move in a positive direction
  • Steps needed for successful management from all perspectives.
Currently, there are states in the USA that manage aquifers by pumping to balance groundwater recharge, which can cause stream depletion. Others limit pumping to protect surface flows, which can have negative economic impacts. Yet still others manage aquifers for controlled depletion in recognition of the severe economic disruption that would occur from either stricter goals or a lack of any planning and management. Many western states manage aquifers to protect surface water rights, while others ignore the connection between surface water and groundwater. Some eastern states seek the use of a hybrid “regulated riparian” approach to balance the free use of water with a reasonable use standard. What are the impacts of these approaches to your local groundwater industry and the reliability of water resources in the future?
No one can control, manage, or sustain what is not measured, so monitoring is the first step needed to ensure success. Monitoring can identify aquifers being used in an unsustainable manner and that information can be used to build information and consensus to find remedies to sustain groundwater systems as well as the industries and businesses that rely on them. One example of this is the deep sandstone aquifer of northern Illinois and southeastern Wisconsin, where decades of overpumping have created one of the largest cones of depression in the world. Both states have conducted detailed studies of the aquifer and have begun regional planning to control the human and environmental impacts. Other regional examples from around the country will be presented, and an emphasis will be given to the local conditions and issues of the McEllhiney Lecture host organization.

Biography

John Jansen McEllhiney Lecturer

John Jansen, Ph.D., PG, is a principal and senior hydrogeologist for Cardno ENTRIX and works on a wide variety of groundwater projects around the country, specializing in high-capacity wells and groundwater resource management. Formerly a partner in a Denver-based water rights company and the chief geoscientist for an international drilling company, he has broad experience in well construction and maintenance, as well as water rights issues.

Jansen holds three U.S. patents on water well-related technologies and is the lead author of the chapter on borehole geophysics in the third edition of Groundwater & Wells, published in 2007. He is a professional geologist in seven states and a registered geophysicist in California. Jansen’s a member of the Advisory Council on Water Information, a federal advisory committee advising the U.S. government on water research priorities, where he had been active in the development of a national groundwater monitoring network. He has a B.S. in geology and an M.S. and Ph.D. in geological sciences, with an emphasis in hydrogeology and geophysics, all from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.

Sponsorship

The McEllhiney Lecture Series in Water Well Technology is made possible by a grant from Franklin Electric Co.  The McEllhiney Lecture Series is a feature of the National Groundwater Association.

IAH-NSW : Young Professional Award 2013

Dearest IAH-NSW friends,

We are delighted to announce our second round of Young Professional Award is now open for nominations. This year you can take initiative and nominate yourself! So what are you waiting for? If you are a young professional in the field of hydrogeology and meet the Criteria for nomination, lay your fingers on the keyboard and start writing us a little about yourself OR  if you know somebody who ticks all the boxes you can nominate them for this award.

We wish you the best in your professional journey and   good luck with this prestigious award!

Pizza and Pint Night with the Experts

Early Career Hydrogeologists Network hosts an information and  networking event

Wednesday 3rd July at 5.45 pm

MWH, Level 5,190 St Georges Terrace, Perth

Early Career logo PizzaPint

A panel of six experts will each provide a short 5 to 10 min talk about their chosen career path.  The plan is to keep things fairly informal (so there will be no PowerPoint in sight!) rather the opportunity for an interactive group Q&A session.  This will be timed nicely with the arrival of pizza (and topping up of drinks!) giving you the chance to pose any other questions you may have to our experts on a 1-to-1 basis.  And just in case 6 industry specialists aren’t enough, we’ve invited another handful of fantastic expert hydros to come along and mingle with us.

Experts Biographies will be available soon,  to give you the opportunity to think up any specific questions in advance.

The ECHNiA is the Australian chapter of the Early Career Hydrogeologists’ Network, which is a subgroup of the IAH. One of our primary aims is to provide support in information sharing, networking and strengthening the status of early career hydrogeologists within the IAH.  With this in mind, we’ve asked our experts to think up any questions they may wish to ask of you too. If you think you can offer any insight from an unusual project, or some cutting-edge research you may be involved with, please let us know.

Please RSVP via echn@iah.org.au and remember, spaces are limited so we need to allocate them on a first-come, first-served basis.  Don’t delay!

Thanks to MWH Australia for hosting the event.

 

McEllhiney Lecture – Keeping the Pump Primed: Aquifer Sustainability

How will your groundwater resources fare in the future and how will that affect your business? How can we ensure the sustainability of our aquifers through sound science? How should groundwater contractors and scientists confront economic and political challenges affecting the resource that is pivotal to the success of their businesses? How is “sustainability” defined and what tools and strategies can be used to protect groundwater systems as well as those who obtain and develop it? What information must be gathered and compiled to build consensus and present a compelling case to regulators and policymakers?

Currently, there are states that manage aquifers by pumping to balance groundwater recharge, which can cause stream depletion. Others limit pumping to protect surface flows, which can have negative economic impacts. Yet still others manage aquifers for controlled depletion in recognition of the severe economic disruption that would occur from either stricter goals or a lack of any planning and management. In the United States, many western states manage aquifers to protect surface water rights, while others ignore the connection between surface water and groundwater. Some eastern states seek the use of a hybrid “regulated riparian” approach to balance the free use of water with a reasonable use standard. What are the impacts of these approaches to your local groundwater industry and the reliability of water resources in the future?

Regional examples from around the United States will be presented, and an emphasis will be given to the local conditions and issues of the McEllhiney Lecture host organization.

About the speaker

John Jansen, Ph.D., PG, is a principal and senior hydrogeologist for Cardno ENTRIX and works on a wide variety of groundwater projects around the country, specializing in high-capacity wells and groundwater resource management. Formerly a partner in a Denver-based water rights company and the chief geoscientist for an international drilling company, he has broad experience in well construction and maintenance, as well as water rights issues. Jansen holds three U.S. patents on water well-related technologies and is the lead author of the chapter on borehole geophysics in the third edition of Groundwater & Wells, published in 2007.

Come join us

Date: Tuesday, 2nd July 2013

Time: 5.30pm for 6pm start

Location: RMIT, Academic Building 80Rm 80.002.007 (located at 445 Swanston St, ground floor level on west side of Swanston St, turn right when you enter the doors).

No need to RSVP