International Association of Hydrogeologists Australia

Gascoyne River Alluvial Aquifer; Groundwater Management and Tools

Friday 30 March, 2012

The horticultural industry has been operating adjacent to the Gascoyne River dating back to the late 1920’s. Harvested produce from the region is diverse, ranging from bananas, mangoes and avocados through to  tomatoes and  grapes. The Carnarvon Horticultural Area is heavily reliant upon the Gascoyne River alluvial aquifer for much of its irrigation needs. The aquifer is also utilised for town water supply by the Water Corporation of Western Australia (WC) and scheme water by the Gascoyne Water Cooperative (GWC).

Recent pressure to expand existing plantations, changes in crops and land tenure, proposed groundwater entitlement trading and historic over allocation of groundwater in the region have seen management of the regions groundwater resource become increasingly complex.

Lazaras Leonhard from the Department of Water of Western Australia will discuss  a recent upgrade of the tools used to manage groundwater resources within the region. More specifically, the 2009 development of a solute transport model, GASFAMS, using MODFLOW 2000. The new model was developed to simulate a number of climate scenarios ranging from a normal cycle of flow every 9 to 10 months to a drought cycle of no flow for 30 months.

About the speaker

Lazarus obtained his BSc in Geology from Kansas University, and has a dual MSc in Hydrogeology and Engineering Geology from the University of New South Wales. He commenced his career as geological engineer in Kansas and continued in a similar role following a move to Australia in 1981. In 1987, Lazarus moved to Western Australia taking up a post as an environmental geologist and later as a hydrogeologist at the WA Geological Survey.

Today, Lazarus is a Senior Hydrogeologist with the Department of Water in Western Australia, responsible for the Mid West Gascoyne, an area stretching from the coastal town of Jurien north to Exmouth and east as far as Meekatheera, including the Carnarvon and all of the Gascoyne River Catchment

Come join us

Lazarus will be speaking at The Balmoral on Thursday, 26 April. Fellowship will commence from 5pm and the technical presentation will commence at 5:45pm.

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