Advertisement

Conceptual Approaches, Methods and Models Used to Assess Extraction Limits in Australia: From Sustainable to Acceptable Yield

  • Daniel PierceEmail author
  • Peter Cook
Chapter
  • 18 Downloads
Part of the Global Issues in Water Policy book series (GLOB, volume 24)

Abstract

The establishment of a limit for extraction is a fundamental requirement for the long-term sustainable development of groundwater resources. As in many countries, the context and methodology for determining these limits in Australia has evolved over time. The instigation of the National Water Initiative (NWI) in 2004 was a major milestone in Australia which enabled the development of a nationally consistent framework for water management. A key component of this major reform process has been a commitment across the States and Territories to the concept of establishing a sustainable water extraction regime for each water system. National guidelines developed over the past decade have outlined a general approach to using scientific processes and techniques to determine this regime which minimises the risks to the resource and users that depend on it.

This chapter analyses the evolution of the use of ‘sustainable yield’ in Australian groundwater management and presents how four themes have come to shape a shared conceptual framework for groundwater management. These are: appreciating how the timing and location of extraction impacts on recharge and discharge processes; accepting that setting sustainability limits necessarily requires value judgements; employing a risk-based management approach that includes socio-economic considerations and greater stakeholder engagement; and using resource condition limits together with volumetric allocations to set optimal management rules.

Keywords

Acceptable extraction limits Resource condition limits Risk-based management Sustainable yield 

References

  1. Anderson, T., Cauchi, T., Hamstead, M., Merrick, N. P., Mozina, M., & Phillipson, K. (2014, February). Approaches to achieve sustainable use and management of groundwater resources in the Murray–Darling Basin using rules and resource condition limits. Prepared for Murray–Darling Basin Authority.Google Scholar
  2. Anderson, T., Cauchi, T., Mozina, M., & Smyth, B. (2014, February). Approaches to achieve sustainable use and management of groundwater resources in the Murray–Darling basin using rules and resource condition limits – Literature review reference report. Prepared for Murray–Darling Basin Authority.Google Scholar
  3. Barnett, B., Townley, L. R., Post, V., Evans, R. E., Hunt, R. J., Peeters, L., Richardson, S., Werner, A. D., Knapton, A., & Boronkay, A. (2012). Australian groundwater modelling guidelines (Waterlines report). Canberra, Australia: National Water Commission.Google Scholar
  4. Bish, S., Williams, R. M., Gates, G., & Gill, J. (2006). Assessment of sustainable limits for groundwater sources in NSW, MDBA conference Canberra pp. 107 – 115, NSW Department of Natural Resource.Google Scholar
  5. Bredehoeft, J. (1997). Safe yield and the water budget myth. Editorial, Ground Water, 35(6), 929–929.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Bredehoeft, J. (2002). The water budget myth revisited: Why hydrogeologists model. Ground Water, 40, 340–345.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Clark, S. D., & Myers, A. J. (1969). Vesting and divesting: The Victorian groundwater act 1969. Melbourne University Law Review, 7, 237–257.Google Scholar
  8. Cook, P. G., Herczeg, A. L., & Harrington, G. A. (2001, April 1–5). Is groundwater sustainability possible? 2001 A Water Odyssey, Australian Water Alliance 19th Federal Convention, Canberra, Australia.Google Scholar
  9. CSIRO and SKM. (2010, December). Sustainable extraction limits derived from the recharge risk assessment method. Report to Murray-Darling Basin Authority.Google Scholar
  10. DEWNR (Department of Environment, Water and Natural Resources, South Australia). (2012a, December). Risk management framework for water planning and management.Google Scholar
  11. DEWNR (Department of Environment, Water and Natural Resources, South Australia). (2012b, December). Risk management policy and guidelines for water allocation plans.Google Scholar
  12. DFW (Department for Water, Western Australia). (2011a, November). Water allocation planning in Western Australia: A guide to our process. Water resource allocation planning series.Google Scholar
  13. DFW (Department for Water, Western Australia). (2011b, January). Groundwater risk-based allocation planning process. Water resource allocation and planning series. Report no. 45.Google Scholar
  14. DLRM. (2016). Alice springs water allocation plan 2016–2026. Northern Territory government, Department of Land Resource Management. Report 01/2016A.Google Scholar
  15. DPI (Department of Primary Industries, NSW). (2015, November). Macro water sharing plans – The approach for groundwater.Google Scholar
  16. DPIE (Department of Primary Industries and Energy, Commonwealth of Australia). (1987). 1985 review of Australia’s water resources and water use. (Vol. 2). Department of Primary Industries and Energy and The Australian Water Resources Council, Canberra.Google Scholar
  17. Eamus, D., Zolfaghar, S., Villalobos-Vega, R., Cleverly, J., & Huete, A. (2015). Groundwater-dependent ecosystems: Recent insights from satellite and field-based studies. Hydrology and Earth System Sciences, 19, 4229–4256.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Hatton, T., & Evans, R. (1998). Dependence of ecosystems on groundwater and its significance to Australia. Occasional Paper No. 12/98. Land and Water Resources Research and Development Corporation, CSIRO Australia.Google Scholar
  19. McIntyre, N., & Wood, C. (2011). Developing adaptive groundwater management arrangements in the South East of South Australia: A pilot study. Government of South Australia, through Department for Water, Adelaide.Google Scholar
  20. MDBA (Murray-Darling Basin Authority). (2012). The proposed groundwater baseline and sustainable diversion limits: Methods report, MDBA publication no: 16/12, Murray-Darling Basin Authority, Canberra.Google Scholar
  21. MDBA (Murray-Darling Basin Authority). (2013, October). Handbook for practitioners: Water resource plan requirements.Google Scholar
  22. MDBC (Murray–Darling Basin Commission). (2001, January). Groundwater flow modelling guideline. Report prepared by Aquaterra.Google Scholar
  23. Meinzer, O. E. (1920). Quantitative methods of estimating ground-water supplies. Bulletin Geological Society of America, 31, 329–338.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Mulligan, H. K., & Pigram, J. J. (1989). Water administration in Australia: agenda for change. Centre for Water Policy Research. Occasional Paper No. 4, University of New England, Armidale.Google Scholar
  25. NGC (National Groundwater Committee). (2003, March 14). Water level response management as a micro-management tool. Issue Paper 4. Australian Department of the Environment and Heritage.Google Scholar
  26. Noorduijn, S., Cook, P., Simmons, C., & Richardson, S. (2019). Protecting groundwater levels and ecosystems with simple management approaches. Hydrogeology Journal, 27, 225–237.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. NWC (National Water Commission). (2009). Australian water reform 2009. Second biennial assessment of progress in implementation of the National Water Initiative.Google Scholar
  28. NWC (National Water Commission). (2010a, May). Sustainable levels of extraction: Position statement. Australian Government.Google Scholar
  29. NWC (National Water Commission). (2010b). NWI policy guidelines for water planning and management.Google Scholar
  30. Ponce, V. M. (2007). Sustainable yield of groundwater. http://groundwater.sdsu.edu
  31. Productivity Commission. (2017). National water reform (Report no. 87). Canberra. Released on 31 May 2018.Google Scholar
  32. Richardson, S., Evans, R., & Harrington, G. (2011). Connecting science and engagement: Setting groundwater extraction limits using a stakeholder-led decision-making process. In D. Connell & R. Q. Grafton (Eds.), Basin futures: Water reform in the Murray-Darling basin. Canberra, Australia: ANU Press.Google Scholar
  33. Richardson, S., Irvine, E., Froend, R., Boon, P., Barber, S., & Bonneville, B. (2011). Australian groundwater-dependent ecosystems toolbox part 2: Assessment tools (Waterline report series no. 70). Canberra, Australia: National Water Commission.Google Scholar
  34. Sophocleous, M. (2000). From safe yield to sustainable development of water resources – The Kansas experience. Journal of Hydrology, 235(1–2), 27–43.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Theis, C. V. (1940). The source of water derived from wells: Essential factors controlling the response of an aquifer to development. Civil Engineering, 10(5), 277–280.Google Scholar
  36. Tisdell, J., Ward, J., & Grudzinksi, T. (2002, May) The development of water reform in Australia (Technical report 02/5). Melbourne, Australia: Cooperative Research Centre for Catchment Hydrology.Google Scholar
  37. Turral, H., & Fullagar, I. (2007). Institutional directions in groundwater management in Australia. In M. Giordano & K. G. Villholth (Eds.), The agricultural groundwater revolution: Opportunities and threats to development (pp. 320–361). Wallingford, UK: CAB International.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Werner, A. D., Alcoe, D. W., Ordens, C. M., Hutson, J. L., Ward, J. D., & Simmons, C. T. (2011). Current practice and future challenges in coastal aquifer management: Flux-based and trigger-level approaches with application to an Australian case study. Water Resources Management.  https://doi.org/10.1007/s11269-011-9777-2CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department for Environment and WaterAdelaideAustralia
  2. 2.Flinders UniversityAdelaideAustralia

Personalised recommendations