GAB | Improved characterisation of unmetered stock and domestic groundwater use in the Surat and southern Bowen basins of the Great Artesian Basin (Australia)

Title: Improved characterisation of unmetered stock and domestic groundwater use in the Surat and southern Bowen basins of the Great Artesian Basin (Australia)
Authors:
  • Dhananjay Singh
  • Steven Flook
  • Sanjeev Pandey
  • Dean Erasmus
  • Linda Foster
  • Keith Phillipson
  • Joanna Smallacombe
  • Jit Khor
  • Sean Lowry
Abstract:

Time-series and current estimates of groundwater use are critical for conceptualisation of groundwater systems and for understanding system responses. A key challenge for managing Australia’s Great Artesian Basin (GAB) is the limited available data on private water use. In the absence of an existing method, the Queensland Government’s Office of Groundwater Impact Assessment developed a demand-based method to estimate unmetered stock and domestic (S&D) groundwater use in 2016, with further enhancements since then.  The method integrates publicly available datasets including property grazing potential and availability of other water supplies to derive a range of groundwater use estimates. The method also distributes the demand for groundwater use across existing bores and across screened geological formations based on bore construction and screened-aquifer information. The method has been applied to the GAB’s Surat and southern Bowen basins. Integrating the results and outcomes from related research projects, this paper provides an overview of the demand-based method, highlighting new understanding of the temporal and spatial distribution of groundwater use. Results were validated at the bore level with limited metered bore data, and at the sub-regional level from census data and landholder survey information. Across the Surat Basin, comparisons with previous estimates show, as estimated, a reduction in S&D water extraction from approximately 80,000 to 25,000 ML/yr.

Citation: Due for publication early 2020
Keywords: TBA