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2017 IAH/NCGRT Distinguished Lecture Video

The 2017 IAH/NCGRT Distinguished Lecture presentation ‘Climate Change and Australian Groundwater: Current State of Knowledge and Future Responses’ by Dr. Glen Walker is now online, click here to view.

Abstract

The climate shift in south-western Western Australia and the Millennium Drought has highlighted the need to better understand how water resources will be affected by changing climate across Australia. Australia has long experience with managing water resources in a variable climate. This, together with the Water Reform has meant that Australia is well placed, compared to other countries, to meet the challenges to groundwater management. While the uncertainties associated with the predictions of global climate models can be large, there can be significant risks to groundwater users, groundwater-dependent ecosystems, coastal aquifers and baseflow, without adaptation to changing climate. These risks are higher for systems that are already stressed from consumptive use and management options are being ‘hedged’ while the timing and magnitude of climate shifts become clearer. This talk will provide an overview of the results from recent projects around Australia with learnings about recharge and discharge processes and associated management and recommendations made with respect to knowledge gaps and approaches to addressing climate change.

Biography

Glen Walker has conducted groundwater and salinity research for over 30 years with CSIRO in Adelaide. Specific research interests included recharge and discharge, vegetation and salinity, catchment modelling for salinity management, groundwater-surface water interactions and climate impacts on groundwater. He also led the groundwater component of the Murray-Darling Basin Sustainable Yields project and is a recipient of WE Woods Award for National Excellence in Salinity Research. Since his retirement from CSIRO in 2014, Glen has been consulting with his company, Grounded in Water, and is a member of the Independent Scientific Expert Committee for Coal Seam Gas and Large Coal Mining Development.

Proudly sponsored by:  NCGRT and IAH

2014 Distinguished Lecture: Professor Derek Eamus – Groundwater Dependent Ecosystems (Sydney, 7 May 2014)

IAH NSW is pleased to announce the next 2014 Distinguished Lecture Series Talk in Sydney proudly sponsored by the National Centre for Groundwater Research and Training (NCGRT), the National Water Commission, and IAH Australia.

Eamus photo July 2010

The next talk in this series is entitled “Groundwater-dependent ecosystems: key questions, new methods and a response curve” will be presented by Professor Derek Eamus on Wednesday 7th of May, 2014 at the Parsons Brinckerhoff offices in Sydney.

See the attached flyer for further details.

To attend this interesting talk please RSVP.

To add this event to your calender click here.

2014 NCGRT Distinguished Lecturer Series

Eamus photo July 2010Professor Derek Eamus: Groundwater-dependent ecosystems: key questions, new methods and a response curve

Groundwater-dependent ecosystems (GDEs) are a valuable resource, having economic, biological, conservation, ecosystem services and aesthetic values.  However, global-change type droughts and associated woodland and forest mortality represents a new threat to both groundwater resources and GDEs. Three challenges are faced by resource managers tasked with protecting both groundwater supplies and the ecosystems that rely on groundwater. These challenges are: where are GDEs located in a landscape? How much water does a GDEs use? What is the response function of GDEs to groundwater extraction?

This talk will examine trends in global drought and forest mortality and the application of remote sensing techniques to address the first two questions. It will also summarise the results of a recent comparative study of leaf, whole tree and canopy woodland ecophysiology along a pronounced depth-to-groundwater gradient that has generated an ecosystem-scale response function to differences in depth-to-groundwater.

This series is presented in conjunction with the International Association of Hydrogeologists, Australia

  • Brisbane, Monday April 28, 6:30pm (EST)
  • Darwin, Tuesday April 29, 5pm (CST)
  • Perth, Wednesday April 30, 6pm (WST)
  • Adelaide, Thursday May 1, 3:30pm (CST)
  • Melbourne, Tuesday May 6, 6pm (EST)
  • Sydney, Wednesday May 7, 6pm (EST)
  • Canberra, Thursday May 8, 1pm (EST)

Click here for more information or to register

About Professor Eamus

Professor Derek Eamus was appointed to the Chair of Environmental Sciences in 2000 at the University of Technology, Sydney, aged 40. He has spent more than 22 years studying the ecophysiology of savannas, arid-zone woodlands and temperate woodlands in Australia, including work in the NT, NSW and SA. Prior to taking up the Chair at UTS, he worked at the Northern Territory University, 1990–1999 (now the Charles Darwin University). He has published more than 165 journal papers and 10 book chapters with more than 4,800 citations. In 2010, he won both the Vice-Chancellor’s Medal for Research Excellence and the Chancellor’s Medal for Research Leadership – the first year that these awards were offered. He was awarded a prestigious Senior Research Fellowship by the Australian Land and Water Authority in 2009. He currently leads the Terrestrial Ecohydrology Research Group at UTS.

Professor Eamus was the lead-author of the textbook Ecohydrology: vegetation function, water and resource management, published in 2006 by CSIRO Press. He is currently co-writing a textbook that integrates plant ecophysiology, remote sensing and modelling of terrestrial landscapes, to be published in late 2014 by Cambridge University Press. He has examined cellular, leaf-scale, canopy and stand-scale processes, using experimental, modelling and remote sensing methodologies. In particular, he has significantly advanced knowledge in plant physiology and ecophysiology in the following fields:

  • Stomatal physiology and stomatal behaviour at leaf- and canopy-scales
  • Leaf and canopy-scale measurements of transpiration, photosynthesis and water-use-efficiencies
  • Comparative ecophysiology of deciduous and evergreen species of Australia, including analyses of multiple leaf traits
  • Comparative ecophysiology of groundwater dependent ecosystems in the NT and NSW
  • The water relations of leaves, whole-plants and stands of trees, including measurements of water, solute and turgor potentials, sapwood hydraulic conductivities, vulnerability to xylem embolism and pressure-volume analyses of leaves

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.

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

WA Branch Annual Seminar: Mine Closure and Water

As Western Australia’s mining boom continues, it is incumbent upon us, as hydrogeological practitioners, and key decision makers in the water and mining process that we not only focus ‘on the here and now’ but that we also have ethical and moral obligations to consider the long term residual  social and environmental impacts on the landscape once mining has been completed. What legacy do we want to leave to our future generations? Should we take our children and grandchildren to the Pilbara, Goldfields or Collie coalfields in future decades and what will that landscape look like? A series of waste dumps, tainted waterways and struggling vegetation, or one of a few controlled impact footprints returning surely to nature? Continue Reading →