Projects

Flagship Projects

Aquitards

This research was first established during the ARC/NWC funded National Centre for Groundwater Research and Training (NCGRT) from 2009-2014, and is now a CWI Flagship Project.

Caves and palaeohydrology

Caves and palaeohydrology

Speleothems are useful for obtaining precisely dated records of past climate and environmental change on a variety of timescales.

Water governance: collaboration, compliance and enforcement

Fresh water is essential for the environment, our food security and economic production. Yet, we face a water crisis. In an effort to respond to this challenge, governments and communities across the globe have been experimenting with different water governance reforms. These reforms vary in their focus (e.g. groundwater, surface water, conjunctive management) and tools (e.g. markets, regulation and integrated water resource management). A sizeable body of work has begun to examine these tools, particularly the effectiveness of markets. However, far less attention has been given to collaborative approaches and the implementation and enforcement of regulation.

Coastal zone groundwater connectivity

Coastal zone groundwater connectivity

The coastal zone is under ever-increasing pressure due to development. There is a significant lack of understanding of the interface between tidally varying ocean levels and fresh groundwater that discharges at the coast. This zone is one of very significant biological diversity and of great importance for fisheries and for many urban populations.

Managed aquifer recharge in the Botany aquifer

Managed aquifer recharge in the Botany aquifer

Stormwater and treated wastewater are possible water sources for managed aquifer recharge (MAR) in the Botany sand aquifer, located south of the Sydney CBD. MAR using leaky structures and injection bores can improve water quality and enhance water supply security. Aquifers may form part of the treatment train for water reuse, given long residence times and a degree of natural attenuation capacity for specific contaminants.

2D and 3D Electrical Resistivity to monitor soil moisture changes and preferential flow in cracking clay soils

2D and 3D Electrical Resistivity to monitor soil moisture changes and preferential flow in cracking clay soils

The majority of irrigated agriculture in Australia is located on fine grained cracking soils. While their high nutrient content and water holding capacity support high yielding crops and profitable farming, the formation of shrinkage cracks during drying intensifies the adverse effects of suboptimal irrigation scheduling. Preferential flow through soil cracks can rapidly move irrigation water into deep parts of the soil profile and can quickly transport solutes and agrochemicals through the unsaturated zone.

Heat as a tracer

This research was first established during the ARC/NWC funded National Centre for Groundwater Research and Training (NCGRT) from 2009-2014, and is now a CWI Flagship Project.

Groundwater dependent eco-system studies at Maules Creek

Groundwater dependent eco-system studies at Maules Creek

Semi-permanent groundwater discharge from a location in Maules Creek, in the Namoi catchment, keeps flow in the system through most droughts. The water flows downstream for approximately 8 kilometres before being lost back to the groundwater system. These waters are certainly an important groundwater dependent ecosystem (GDE) and may be a biological refuge for stygofauna. Stygofauna are a new classification of animals that live with groundwater systems including alluvial sediment and in limestone groundwater systems.

Fractured rock systems

This research was first established during the ARC/NWC funded National Centre for Groundwater Research and Training (NCGRT) from 2009-2014, and is now a CWI Flagship Project.

Connectivity studies

This research was first established during the ARC/NWC funded National Centre for Groundwater Research and Training (NCGRT) from 2009-2014, and is now a CWI Flagship Project.

Quantifying Recharge Pathways and Aquifer Connectivity in Groundwater Supported Irrigation Districts

Quantifying Recharge Pathways and Aquifer Connectivity in Groundwater Supported Irrigation Districts

UNSW and ANSTO researchers are using a combination of hydrogeochemical analyses, gas and isotopic tracers, microbiological studies, groundwater hydrograph analysis, and sedimentary facies analysis, to advance our knowledge of recharge pathways in groundwater supported irrigation districts.