Groundwater assessment and modelling for Tasmania

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1 Groundwater assessment and modelling for Tasmania Harrington G, Crosbie R, Marvanek S, McCallum J, Currie D, Richardson S, Waclawik V, nders L, Georgiou J, Middlemis H and Bond K report to the ustralian Government from the CSIRO Tasmania Sustainable Yields Project December 2009

2 Contributors Project Management: Report Production: David Post, Tom Hatton, Mac Kirby, Therese McGillion and Linda Merrin Frances Marston, Susan Cuddy, Maryam hmad, William Francis, Becky Schmidt, Siobhan Duffy, Heinz Buettikofer, lex Dyce, Simon Gallant, Chris Maguire and Ben Wurcker Project Team: CSIRO: Francis Chiew, Neil Viney, Glenn Harrington, Jin Teng, ng Yang, Glen Walker, Jack Katzfey, John McGregor, Kim Nguyen, Russell Crosbie, Steve Marvanek, Dewi Kirono, Ian Smith, James McCallum, Mick Hartcher, Freddie Mpelasoka, Jai Vaze, ndrew Freebairn, Janice Bathols, Randal Donohue, Li Lingtao, Tim McVicar and David Kent Tasmanian Department of Primary Industries, Parks, Water and Environment: Bryce Graham, Ludovic Schmidt, John Gooderham, Shivaraj Gurung, Miladin Latinovic, Chris Bobbi, Scott Hardie, Tom Krasnicki, Danielle Hardie and Don Rockliff Hydro Tasmania Consulting: Fiona Ling, Mark Willis, James Bennett, Vila Gupta, Kim Robinson, Kiran Paudel and Keiran Jacka Sinclair Knight Merz: quaterra Consulting: Stuart Richardson, Dougal Currie, Louise nders and Vic Waclavik Hugh Middlemis, Joel Georgiou and Katharine Bond Tasmania Sustainable Yields Project acknowledgments Prepared by CSIRO for the ustralian Government under the Water for the Future Plan of the ustralian Government Department of the Environment, Water, Heritage and the rts. Important aspects of the work were undertaken by the Tasmanian Department of Primary Industries, Parks, Water and Environment; Hydro Tasmania Consulting; Sinclair Knight Merz; and quaterra Consulting. Project guidance was provided by the Steering Committee: ustralian Government Department of the Environment, Water, Heritage and the rts; Tasmanian Department of Primary Industries, Parks, Water and Environment; CSIRO Water for a Healthy Country Flagship; and the Bureau of Meteorology. Scientific rigour for this report was ensured by external reviewer, Don rmstrong. Valuable input was provided by the Sustainable Yields Technical Reference Panel: CSIRO Land and Water; ustralian Government Department of the Environment, Water, Heritage and the rts; Tasmanian Department of Primary Industries, Parks, Water, and Environment; Western ustralian Department of Water; and the National Water Commission. We acknowledge input from the following individuals: Richard McLoughlin, lan Harradine, Louise Minty, Ian Prosser, Patricia Please, Martin Read, Rod Oliver, Dugald Black, Ian Loh, lbert Van Dijk, Geoff Podger, Scott Keyworth, Helen Beringen, Mary Mulcahy, Paul Jupp, manda Sutton, Josie Grayson, Melanie Jose, li Wood, Peter Fitch, Wenju Cai, Ken Currie, Eric Lam, Imogen Fullagar, Nathan Bindoff, Stuart Corney, Mike Pook and Richard Davis. Tasmania Sustainable Yields Project disclaimers Derived from or contains data and/or software provided by the Organisations. The Organisations give no warranty in relation to the data and/or software they provided (including accuracy, reliability, completeness, currency or suitability) and accept no liability (including without limitation, liability in negligence) for any loss, damage or costs (including consequential damage) relating to any use or reliance on the data or software including any material derived from that data or software. Data must not be used for direct marketing or be used in breach of the privacy laws. Organisations include: the Tasmanian Department of Primary Industries, Parks, Water, and Environment; Hydro Tasmania Consulting; Sinclair Knight Merz; quaterra Consulting; ntarctic Climate and Ecosystems CRC; Tasmanian Irrigation Development Board; Private Forests Tasmania; and the Queensland Department of Environment and Resource Management. Data on proposed irrigation developments were supplied by the Tasmanian Irrigation Development Board in June Data on projected increases in commercial forest plantations were provided by Private Forests Tasmania in February CSIRO advises that the information contained in this publication comprises general statements based on scientific research. The reader is advised and needs to be aware that such information may be incomplete or unable to be used in any specific situation. No reliance or actions must therefore be made on that information without seeking prior expert professional, scientific and technical advice. To the extent permitted by law, CSIRO (including its employees and consultants) excludes all liability to any person for any consequences, including but not limited to all losses, damages, costs, expenses and any other compensation, arising directly or indirectly from using this publication (in part or in whole) and any information or material contained in it. Data are assumed to be correct as received from the Organisations. Citation Harrington G, Crosbie R, Marvanek S, McCallum J, Currie D, Richardson S, Waclawik V, nders L, Georgiou J, Middlemis H and Bond K (2009) Groundwater assessment and modelling for Tasmania. report to the ustralian Government from the CSIRO Tasmania Sustainable Yields Project, CSIRO Water for a Healthy Country Flagship, ustralia. Publication Details Published by CSIRO 2009 all rights reserved. This work is copyright. part from any use as permitted under the Copyright ct 1968, no part may be reproduced by any process without prior written permission from CSIRO. ISSN X Photo on cover: Irrigated field near Moriarty (CSIRO)

3 Director s foreword Following the November 2006 Summit on the southern Murray-Darling Basin (MDB), the then Prime Minister and MDB state Premiers commissioned CSIRO to undertake an assessment of sustainable yields of surface and groundwater systems within the MDB. The project set an international benchmark for rigorous and detailed basin-scale assessment of the anticipated impacts of climate change, catchment development and increasing groundwater extraction on the availability and use of water resources. On 26 March 2008, the Council of ustralian Governments (COG) agreed to expand the CSIRO assessments of sustainable yield so that, for the first time, ustralia would have a comprehensive scientific assessment of water yield in all major water systems across the country. This would allow a consistent analytical framework for water policy decisions across the nation. The Tasmania Sustainable Yields Project, together with allied projects for northern ustralia and south-west Western ustralia, will provide a nation-wide expansion of the assessments. The CSIRO Tasmania Sustainable Yields Project is providing critical information on current and likely future water availability. This information will help governments, industry and communities consider the environmental, social and economic aspects of the sustainable use and management of the precious water assets of Tasmania. The projects are the first rigorous attempt for the regions to estimate the impacts of catchment development, changing groundwater extraction, climate variability and anticipated climate change, on water resources at a whole-of-region-scale, explicitly considering the connectivity of surface and groundwater systems. To do this, we are undertaking the most comprehensive hydrological modelling ever attempted for the region, using rainfall-runoff models, groundwater recharge models, river system models and groundwater models, and considering all upstream-downstream and surfacesubsurface connections. To deliver on the projects CSIRO is drawing on the scientific leadership and technical expertise of national and state government agencies in Queensland, Tasmania, the Northern Territory and Western ustralia, as well as ustralia s leading industry consultants. The projects are dependent on the cooperative participation of over 50 government and private sector organisations. The projects have established a comprehensive but efficient process of internal and external quality assurance on all the work performed and all the results delivered, including advice from senior academic, industry and government experts. The projects are led by the Water for a Healthy Country Flagship, a CSIRO-led research initiative established to deliver the science required for sustainable management of water resources in ustralia. By building the capacity and capability required to deliver on this ambitious goal, the Flagship is ideally positioned to accept the challenge presented by this complex integrative project. CSIRO has given the Sustainable Yields Projects its highest priority. It is in that context that I am very pleased and proud to commend this report to the ustralian Government. Dr Tom Hatton Director, Water for a Healthy Country National Research Flagships CSIRO

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5 Executive summary This report presents the results of the groundwater assessment and modelling components of the CSIRO Tasmania Sustainable Yields Project. ll assessments were performed at the scale of the major aquifer systems within five reporting regions: rthur-inglis-cam, Mersey-Forth, Pipers-Ringarooma, South Esk and Derwent-South East. The level of technical assessment varied depending on the availability of existing data, knowledge and numerical groundwater flow models. ssessments were performed for four climate and development scenarios. The four scenarios are: Scenario historical climate (1 January 1924 to 31 December 2007) and current development Scenario B recent climate (data from 1 January 1997 to 31 December 2007 were concatenated to make an 84-year sequence) and current development Scenario C future climate (84-year sequence scaled for ~2030 conditions) and current development Scenario D future climate (84-year sequence scaled for ~2030 conditions) and future development. Generally, there is a lack of fundamental groundwater data for Tasmania and this has led to large uncertainties in the groundwater recharge and flow modelling. Nevertheless, this report provides a valuable starting point for water resources planning in Tasmania, and will inform decision makers of the need for investment in both data collection and refined groundwater modelling. cross the project area, modelled mean annual diffuse groundwater recharge varies by more than two orders of magnitude. For all modelled areas, annual recharge declines noticeably over the 84-year historical period (1924 to 2007). The climate over the recent (1997 to 2007) period results in the lowest groundwater recharge rates of the historical period, assuming land use did not change over this period. Recharge rates under the future climate are likely to be within the range of rates experienced during the historical period. Total groundwater extraction is estimated to be around 38 GL/year, with almost 90 percent of this extraction occurring in the Smithton Syncline groundwater assessment area (16 GL/year) and the Mersey-Forth region (17.4 GL/year). The areas of most concentrated groundwater extraction reflect the high-yielding nature of the dolomite and basalt aquifers (respectively) in these areas and, in the case of the Mersey-Forth region, the extremely fertile soils associated with the underlying basalt geology. The ratio of groundwater extraction (E) to diffuse recharge (R) for the majority of investigated aquifers is very low under all climate and development scenarios. This suggests that there are opportunities for future groundwater development, providing estimates of sustainable extraction limits can be made in the interim. Most of these opportunities lie in basalt aquifers that have already started to be developed; however, in each case the scale of possible future development is likely to be less than 10 GL/year. In cases where E/R is already in the range 0.3 to 0.7, such as occurs during drought periods in the Mella area in the rthur-inglis-cam region and the Wesley Vale area in the Mersey-Forth region, there is a high risk that further groundwater development could lead to declining groundwater levels, which in turn could reduce the groundwater contribution to many rivers. Detailed numerical modelling of three different aquifer systems in the north of Tasmania revealed that under the recent climate (Scenario B), groundwater levels are likely to either remain similar to current levels, or to decline gradually through until Under the future climate (Scenario C), groundwater levels fluctuate within the range experienced under the historical climate (Scenario ). In the Mella and Togari groundwater assessment areas of the rthur-inglis-cam region, groundwater levels rise from current conditions, even under future groundwater development at E/R of Similar results were obtained for the Wesley Vale groundwater assessment area within the Mersey-Forth region, although localised areas of intensive groundwater extraction could expect declines of up to 10 m if future development approached an E/R of Likewise in the Scottsdale groundwater assessment area of the Pipers-Ringarooma region, groundwater levels under future development (Scenario D) (E/R ~0.11) decline by up to 2 m in some areas where extraction, or area of forestry plantations, was increased. The middle and lower reaches of most rivers exhibit a high degree of connectivity with groundwater in the adjacent aquifers. This connectivity is vital for maintaining streamflow in summer months to support instream and riparian ecosystems. Rivers that deeply incise basalt aquifers along the north coast are particularly reliant on inputs from groundwater, and thus extraction near these rivers may have detrimental impacts on streamflow. Groundwater modelling has indicated that, under the future climate (Scenario C), there is likely to be little change to surface groundwater CSIRO 2009 Groundwater assessment and modelling for Tasmania i

6 interaction fluxes. Under future development (Scenario D), the changes to fluxes are also small. The most notable change from historical conditions is that variably gaining/losing stream reaches revert to losing reaches as a result of increased groundwater extraction lowering watertables adjacent to the rivers. Most of Tasmania suffers from a lack of long-term, high-quality groundwater monitoring data. The greatest limitation of the existing numerical models, both in terms of the certainty of results from this project and for future determinations of sustainable extraction limits, is the absence of reliable groundwater extraction data. Long-term regional monitoring of groundwater levels and salinity would also greatly facilitate future assessments. better understanding of surface groundwater interactions is warranted in many catchments, particularly in the basalt catchments along the north coast where rivers are deeply incised in the major aquifers. Greater knowledge of the nature of interactions between the karstic Smithton dolomite and the Duck and Montagu rivers is required before further groundwater development occurs in the Mella and Togari groundwater assessment areas. ii Groundwater assessment and modelling for Tasmania CSIRO 2009

7 Table of contents 1 Introduction CSIRO Tasmania Sustainable Yields Project Groundwater assessment and modelling Methods Prioritisation of groundwater assessment areas Groundwater assessments Recharge estimation and scenario definition Groundwater modelling and assumptions...7 Recharge time series for groundwater models...8 Mella-Togari model...9 Wesley Vale model...10 Scottsdale model Knowledge gaps, limitations and uncertainty Monitoring data gaps Surface groundwater interactions Numerical model knowledge gaps, limitations and uncertainty The rthur-inglis-cam region Contextual information Hydrogeology...14 rthur-inglis-cam...15 Flinders Island...16 King Island Surface groundwater interactions...16 rthur-inglis-cam...16 Flinders Island...16 King Island Groundwater extraction...17 rthur-inglis-cam...17 Flinders Island...17 King Island Groundwater resource protection and management issues Previous estimates of recharge and discharge Groundwater level trends...20 rthur-inglis-cam...20 Flinders Island...20 King Island Groundwater system assessment Recharge/discharge Surface groundwater interactions Conceptual model Scenario assessment Recharge impacts Modelled impacts to groundwater levels and fluxes in the Mella and Togari groundwater assessment areas...26 Under historical climate (Scenario )...28 Under recent climate (Scenario B)...32 Under future climate (Scenario C)...35 Under future development (Scenario D)...38 Water balance under scenarios, B, C and D Reporting metrics...43 Extraction relative to recharge...43 Extraction relative to baseflow Impacts of use Management risks Waterlogging and salt accession The Mersey-Forth region Contextual information Hydrogeology Surface groundwater interactions Groundwater extraction Groundwater resource protection and management Previous estimates of recharge and discharge Groundwater level and salinity trends Groundwater system assessment Recharge/discharge...51 CSIRO 2009 Groundwater assessment and modelling for Tasmania iii

8 5.2.2 Surface groundwater interactions Conceptual model Scenario assessment Recharge impacts Modelled impacts to groundwater levels and fluxes in the Wesley Vale groundwater assessment area...58 Under historical climte (Scenario )...59 Under recent climate (Scenario B)...64 Under future climate (Scenario C)...68 Under future development (Scenario D)...72 Water balance under scenarios, B, C and D Reporting metrics...77 Extraction relative to recharge...77 Extraction relative to baseflow Impacts of use Management risks Waterlogging and salt accession The Pipers-Ringarooma region Contextual information Hydrogeology Surface groundwater interactions Groundwater extraction Groundwater resource protection and management Previous estimates of recharge and discharge Groundwater level and salinity trends Groundwater system assessment Recharge/discharge Surface groundwater interactions Conceptual model Scenario assessment Recharge impacts Modelled impacts to groundwater levels and fluxes in the Scottsdale groundwater assessment area...90 Under historical climate (Scenario )...92 Under recent climate (Scenario B)...96 Under future climate (Scenario C)...99 Under future development (Scenario D) Water balance under scenarios, B, C and D Reporting metrics Extraction relative to recharge Extraction relative to baseflow Impacts of use Management risks Waterlogging and salt accession The South Esk region Contextual information Hydrogeology Surface groundwater interactions Groundwater extraction Groundwater resource protection and management Previous estimates of recharge and discharge Groundwater level and salinity trends Groundwater system assessment Recharge/discharge Surface groundwater interactions Conceptual model Scenario assessment Recharge impacts Reporting metrics Impacts of use Management risks Waterlogging and salt accession The Derwent-South East region Contextual information Hydrogeology Surface groundwater interactions Groundwater extraction iv Groundwater assessment and modelling for Tasmania CSIRO 2009

9 8.1.4 Groundwater resource protection and management Previous estimates of recharge and discharge Groundwater level and salinity trends Groundwater system assessment Recharge/discharge Surface groundwater interactions Conceptual model Scenario assessment Recharge impacts Reporting metrics Impacts of use Management risks Waterlogging and salt accession Conclusions References ppendices ppendix : Groundwater model benchmarking Introduction Methods Results Benchmarking Model with WVES version 1 recharge Benchmarking Model with WVES version 2 recharge Benchmarking Model with WVES version 3 recharge Conclusion ppendix B: Surface groundwater interaction maps for selected catchments ppendix C: Groundwater map of the Coal River groundwater assessment area ppendix D: Surface water catchments of the CSIRO Tasmania Sustainable Yields Project area 165 Tables Table 1. Groundwater assessment areas in each region, sorted by tier of assessment...4 Table 2. Summary of the main tasks performed for each groundwater assessment area...6 Table 3. Previous estimates of groundwater fluxes for the rthur-inglis-cam region...19 Table 4. Water balances from steady-state numerical models for the rthur-inglis-cam region...19 Table 5. Estimated diffuse recharge, discharge to streams and extraction for groundwater assessment areas in the rthur-inglis-cam region...21 Table 6. ggregated recharge scaling factors for groundwater assessment areas in the rthur-inglis-cam region under scenarios, B, C and D...25 Table 7. Scaled mean annual recharge for groundwater assessment areas in the rthur-inglis-cam region under scenarios, B, C and D...26 Table 8. Mean annual water balance for Mella and Togari under scenarios, B, C and D...43 Table 9. Extraction relative to recharge (E/R) for groundwater assessment areas in the rthur-inglis-cam region under scenarios, B, C and D...44 Table 10. Modelled mean annual baseflow volume for Mella and Togari groundwater assessment areas under scenarios, B, C and D...44 Table 11. Mean 24-year extraction relative to baseflow (E/B) for Mella and Togari groundwater assessment areas under scenarios, B, C and D...45 Table 12. Groundwater statistics for the Mersey-Forth region including annual recharge, extraction and discharge details...49 Table 13. Modelled water balance results for the Wesley Vale groundwater assessment areas...50 Table 14. Estimated diffuse recharge, discharge to streams and extraction for the rthur-inglis-cam region...52 Table 15. ggregated recharge scaling factors for groundwater assessment areas in the Mersey-Forth region under scenarios, B, C and D...57 Table 16. Scaled mean annual recharge for groundwater assessment areas in the Mersey-Forth region under scenarios, B, C and D...57 Table 17. Mean annual water balance for Wesley Vale groundwater assessment area under scenarios, B, C and D...77 Table 18. Extraction relative to recharge (E/R) for groundwater assessment areas in the Mersey-Forth region under scenarios, B, C and D...78 CSIRO 2009 Groundwater assessment and modelling for Tasmania v

10 Table 19. Modelled mean annual baseflow volume for Wesley Vale groundwater assessment area under scenarios, B, C and D...78 Table 20. Modelled extraction relative to baseflow (E/B) for Wesley Vale groundwater assessment area under scenarios, B, C and D...79 Table 21. Previous estimates of groundwater fluxes for the Pipers-Ringarooma region...83 Table 22. Water balances from steady-state numerical models for groundwater assessment areas in the Pipers-Ringarooma region...84 Table 23. Estimated historical recharge, discharge to streams and current and future extraction for groundwater assessment areas in the Pipers-Ringarooma region...86 Table 24. ggregated recharge scaling factors for groundwater assessment areas in the Pipers-Ringarooma region under scenarios, B, C and D...90 Table 25. Scaled mean annual recharge for groundwater assessment areas in the Pipers-Ringarooma region under scenarios, B, C and D...90 Table 26. Mean annual water balance for the Scottsdale groundwater assessment area under scenarios, B, C and D Table 27. Extraction relative to recharge (E/R) for groundwater assessment areas in the Pipers-Ringarooma region under scenarios, B, C and D Table 28. Mean annual baseflow volume for Scottsdale groundwater assessment area under scenarios, B, C and D Table 29. Mean 24-year extraction relative to baseflow (E/B) for Scottsdale groundwater assessment area under scenarios, B, C and D Table 30. Previous estimates of groundwater fluxes for the South Esk region Table 31. Estimated diffuse recharge, discharge to streams and extraction for the Longford groundwater assessment area in the South Esk region Table 32. ggregated recharge scaling factors for the Longford groundwater assessment area in the South Esk region under scenarios, B, C and D Table 33. Scaled mean annual recharge for the Longford groundwater assessment area in the South Esk region under scenarios, B, C and D Table 34. Extraction relative to recharge (E/R) for groundwater assessment areas in the South Esk region under scenarios, B, C and D Table 35. Previous estimates of groundwater fluxes in the Derwent-South East region Table 36. Estimated diffuse recharge and extraction for the groundwater assessment areas in the Derwent-South East region..124 Table 37. ggregated recharge scaling factors for groundwater assessment areas in the Derwent-South East region under scenarios, B, C and D Table 38. Scaled mean annual recharge for groundwater assessment areas in the Derwent-South East region under scenarios, B, C and D Table 39. Extraction relative to recharge (E/R) for groundwater assessment areas in the Derwent-South East region under scenarios, B, C and D Table 40. Range of acceptable aquifer parameters for the Wesley Vale groundwater assessment areas Table 41. Simulated mean annual water balance volumes during the benchmarking period for the DPIPWE model and the benchmarking models with WVES recharge Table 42. Surface geology code index for Figure 67 to Figure Figures Figure 1. Location of groundwater assessment areas (and their DPIPWE model class) relative to regions...2 Figure 2. Simplified geology of Tasmania...3 Figure 3. Example of 84-year Scenario recharge time series from WVES. Red lines show 23-year periods for scenarios wet, mid and dry...6 Figure 4. Distribution of assumed future plantation forests for Scenario D...7 Figure 5. Location of current and future irrigation areas, current plantation forests and extraction wells in the Mella-Togari model..9 Figure 6. Location of current and future irrigation areas, current and future plantation forests and extraction wells in the Wesley Vale model...10 Figure 7. Location of current and future irrigation areas, current and future plantation forests and extraction wells in the Scottsdale model...11 Figure 8. Groundwater assessment areas, salinity of groundwater wells, and surface groundwater interactions in the rthur-inglis-cam region...14 Figure 9. Hydrographs for the (a) Togari and (b) Hampshire monitoring wells, showing the water level (in metres below ground level) in the monitoring wells and the cumulative deviation from mean rainfall...20 Figure 10. Conceptual hydrogeological model for the rthur-inglis-cam region...23 Figure 11. Spatial distribution of recharge scaling factors in the rthur-inglis-cam region for scenarios wet, mid, dry and B relative to Scenario...24 Figure 12. Spatial distribution of recharge scaling factors in the rthur-inglis-cam region for scenarios C and D relative to Scenario...25 Figure 13. Conceptual groundwater model for the Mella and Togari groundwater assessment areas...27 vi Groundwater assessment and modelling for Tasmania CSIRO 2009

11 Figure 14. Location of the Mella-Togari model extent and reporting sites...28 Figure 15. Groundwater levels for the DPIPWE model calibration period and under Scenario at reporting sites (a) Montagu (b) Trowutta (c) Mound spring (d) Togari (e) DD1 and (f) DD Figure 16. Simulated gaining and losing river reaches under Scenario mid...32 Figure 17. Groundwater levels for the DPIPWE model calibration period and under Scenario B at reporting sites (a) Montagu (b) Trowutta (c) Mound spring (d) Togari (e) DD1 and (f) DD Figure 18. Simulated gaining and losing river reaches under Scenario B...35 Figure 19. Groundwater levels for the DPIPWE model calibration period and Scenario C at reporting sites (a) Montagu (b) Trowutta (c) Mound spring (d) Togari (e) DD1 and (f) DD Figure 20. Simulated gaining and losing river reaches under Scenario Cmid...38 Figure 21. Groundwater levels for the DPIPWE model calibration period and under Scenario D at reporting sites (a) Montagu (b) Trowutta (c) Mound spring (d) Togari (e) DD1 and (f) DD Figure 22. Simulated gaining and losing river reaches under Scenario Dmid...41 Figure 23. Groundwater assessment areas, salinity of groundwater wells, and surface groundwater interactions in the Mersey-Forth region...46 Figure 24. Hydrographs for the (a) Barrington and (b) Lloyd s well 3 monitoring wells, showing the water level (in metres below ground level) in the monitoring wells and the cumulative deviation from mean rainfall...51 Figure 25. Conceptual hydrogeological model for the Mersey-Forth region...54 Figure 26. Spatial distribution of recharge scaling factors in the Mersey-Forth region for the 23-year Scenario and the 11-year Scenario B relative to the 84-year historical modelled period...55 Figure 27. Spatial distribution of recharge scaling factors in the Mersey-Forth region for the 84-year scenarios C and D relative to the 84-year historical modelled period...56 Figure 28. Conceptual groundwater model for the Wesley Vale groundwater assessment areas...58 Figure 29. Location of the Wesley Vale model extent and reporting sites...59 Figure 30. Groundwater levels for the DPIPWE model calibration period and under Scenario at reporting sites (a) 3L (b) 7L (c) 12L (d) ROB1 (e) DOB2 (f) SV1 (g) SV2 (h) SV3 (i) DD1 (j) DD2 and (k) DD Figure 31. Simulated gaining and losing river reaches under Scenario mid...64 Figure 32. Groundwater levels for the DPIPWE model calibration period and under Scenario B at reporting sites (a) 3L (b) 7L (c) 12L (d) ROB1 (e) DOB2 (f) SV1 (g) SV2 (h) SV3 (i) DD1 (j) DD2 and (k) DD Figure 33. Simulated gaining and losing river reaches under Scenario B...68 Figure 34. Groundwater levels for the DPIPWE model calibration period and under Scenario C at reporting sites (a) 3L (b) 7L (c) 12L (d) ROB1 (e) DOB2 (f) SV1 (g) SV2 (h) SV3 (i) DD1 (j) DD2 and (k) DD Figure 35. Simulated gaining and losing river reaches under Scenario Cmid...72 Figure 36. Groundwater levels for the DPIPWE model calibration period and under Scenario D at reporting sites (a) 3L (b) 7L (c) 12L (d) ROB1 (e) DOB2 (f) SV1 (g) SV2 (h) SV3 (i) DD1 (j) DD2 and (k) DD Figure 37. Simulated gaining and losing river reaches under Scenario Dmid...76 Figure 38. Groundwater assessment areas, salinity of groundwater wells, and surface groundwater interactions in the Pipers-Ringarooma region...80 Figure 39. Hydrographs for the (a) Jetsonville and (b) Winnaleah monitoring wells, showing the water level (metres below ground level) in the monitoring wells and the cumulative deviation from mean rainfall...85 Figure 40. Conceptual hydrogeological model for the Pipers-Ringarooma region...87 Figure 41. Spatial distribution of recharge scaling factors in the Pipers-Ringarooma region for the 23-year Scenario and the 11-year Scenario B relative to the 84-year historical modelled period...88 Figure 42. Spatial distribution of recharge scaling factors in the Pipers-Ringarooma region for the 84-year scenarios C and D relative to the 84-year historical modelled period...89 Figure 43. Conceptual groundwater model for the Scottsdale groundwater assessment area...91 Figure 44. Location of the Scottsdale model extent and reporting sites...92 Figure 45. Groundwater levels for the DPIPWE model calibration period and under Scenario at reporting sites (a) Waterhouse (b) Jetsonville (c) SV1 (d) DD1 (e) DD2 and (f) DD Figure 46. Simulated gaining and losing river reaches under Scenario mid...96 Figure 47. Groundwater levels for the DPIPWE model calibration period and under Scenario B at reporting sites (a) Waterhouse (b) Jetsonville (c) SV1 (d) DD1 (e) DD2 and (f) DD Figure 48. Simulated gaining and losing river reaches under Scenario B...99 Figure 49. Groundwater levels for the DPIPWE model calibration period and under Scenario C at reporting sites (a) Waterhouse (b) Jetsonville (c) SV1 (d) DD1 (e) DD2 and (f) DD Figure 50. Simulated gaining and losing river reaches under Scenario Cmid Figure 51. Groundwater levels for the DPIPWE model calibration period and under Scenario D at reporting sites (a) Waterhouse (b) Jetsonville (c) SV1 (d) DD1 (e) DD2 and (f) DD Figure 52. Simulated gaining and losing river reaches under Scenario Dmid Figure 53. Groundwater assessment areas, salinity of groundwater wells and surface groundwater interactions in the South Esk region Figure 54. Hydrographs for the (a) Hagley and (b) Cressy monitoring wells, showing the water level (metres below ground level) in the monitoring wells and the cumulative deviation from mean rainfall Figure 55. Conceptual hydrogeological model for the South Esk region CSIRO 2009 Groundwater assessment and modelling for Tasmania vii

12 Figure 56. Spatial distribution of recharge scaling factors in the South Esk region for the 23-year Scenario and the 11-year Scenario B relative to the 84-year historical modelled period Figure 57. Spatial distribution of recharge scaling factors in the South Esk region for scenarios C and D relative to Scenario..116 Figure 58. Groundwater assessment areas, salinity of groundwater wells, and surface groundwater interactions in the Derwent-South East region Figure 59. Hydrographs for the (a) Pawleena Road and (b) Tunnack monitoring wells, showing the water level (in metres below ground level) in the monitoring wells and the cumulative deviation from mean rainfall Figure 60. Conceptual hydrogeological model for the Derwent-South East region Figure 61. Spatial distribution of recharge scaling factors in the Derwent-South East region for the 23 year Scenario and the 11-year Scenario B relative to the 84 year historical modelled period Figure 62. Spatial distribution of recharge scaling factors in the Derwent-South East region for the 84-year scenarios C and D relative to the 84-year historical modelled period Figure 63. Location of modelled wells used in the benchmarking exercise (Wesley Vale groundwater assessment area) Figure 64. Simulated results with WVES recharge, and observed groundwater levels for the benchmarking period at the 20 monitoring wells (see Figure 63 for locations) Figure 65. Simulated total recharge for (a) DPIPWE Modflow model (b) WVES version 1 (c) WVES version 2 and (d) WVES version Figure 66. Simulated model results for DPIPWE model and benchmarking model with WVES version 3 recharge, and observed groundwater levels for the DPIPWE model calibration period at the 20 monitoring wells Figure 67. Surface groundwater interactions map for the Duck catchment showing surface geology and location of available groundwater level data Figure 68. Surface groundwater interactions map for the Montagu catchment showing surface geology and location of available groundwater level data Figure 69. Surface groundwater interactions map for the Inglis-Flowerdale catchment showing surface geology and location of available groundwater level data Figure 70. Surface groundwater interactions map for the Cam, Emu and Blythe catchments showing surface geology and location of available groundwater level data Figure 71. Surface groundwater interactions map for Flinders Island showing surface geology and location of available groundwater level data Figure 72. Surface groundwater interactions map for the Leven and Forth-Wilmot catchments showing surface geology and location of available groundwater level data Figure 73. Surface groundwater interactions map for the Rubicon catchment showing surface geology and location of available groundwater level data Figure 74. Surface groundwater interactions map for the Great Forester-Brid catchment showing surface geology and location of available groundwater level data Figure 75. Surface groundwater interactions map for the Ringarooma catchment showing surface geology and location of available groundwater level data Figure 76. Surface groundwater interactions map for the Longford groundwater assessment area showing surface geology and location of available groundwater level data Figure 77. Surface groundwater interactions map for the Coal River groundwater assessment area showing surface geology and location of available groundwater level data Figure 78. Groundwater elevation contours for the Coal River groundwater assessment area Figure 79. Surface water catchments of the CSIRO Tasmania Sustainable Yields Project area viii Groundwater assessment and modelling for Tasmania CSIRO 2009

13 1 Introduction 1.1 CSIRO Tasmania Sustainable Yields Project This report is one in a series of technical reports from the CSIRO Tasmania Sustainable Yields Project. The terms of reference for this project are to estimate current and future water availability in each catchment and aquifer in Tasmania (considering climate change, forestry, groundwater and irrigation development) and to compare the estimated current and future water availability with the amount of water required to meet the current levels of extractive use. The purpose of this report is to describe the current and potential future groundwater resource availability for key aquifers within the five regions across Tasmania as follows (Figure 1): rthur-inglis-cam (including Flinders and King islands) Mersey-Forth Pipers-Ringarooma South Esk Derwent-South East. 1.2 Groundwater assessment and modelling The groundwater assessment and modelling component of this project involved collating existing data and knowledge to report on the occurrence, status and possible future condition of groundwater resources across the five regions. The assessments are reported at the regional scale (sections 4 to 8), with explicit detail and assessment at the scale of the main aquifer units where background data are available. The geology of Tasmania is extremely complex and it is not uncommon to have Cainozoic sedimentary aquifers adjacent to Jurassic igneous rocks, Permo-Triassic sedimentary aquifers and Precambrian fractured rock aquifers (see Figure 2). Parts of regions that were already represented with an existing, transient numerical groundwater flow model (prior to this project) were assessed quantitatively for the impacts of current and future climate and development by modelling them under scenarios, B, C and D. This modelling has enabled detailed assessments of changes in recharge and associated changes in groundwater levels and surface groundwater interactions. For parts of regions without groundwater models, the potential impacts of the four climate and development scenarios have only been assessed quantitatively in terms of changes in groundwater recharge. The Department of Primary Industries, Parks, Water and Environment (DPIPWE) in Tasmania recently completed a two-year project titled Development of Models for Tasmanian Groundwater Resources (hereafter referred to simply as the DPIPWE project). It was funded by the Tasmanian Government and the National Water Commission under the Raising National Water Standards Program. The DPIPWE project collated background information and built new groundwater models for 19 areas located mostly in the north of Tasmania. These new models ranged in complexity from simple conceptual models with first order water balances (termed Class models) through to calibrated, transient numerical groundwater flow models (termed Class C models). ll 19 modelled areas from the DPIPWE project fall within the Tasmania Sustainable Yields Project area, so it made sense to utilise these models for this project. The only areas in the five regions that contain significant groundwater resources not covered by the DPIPWE project are the Longford (in the South Esk region) and Coal River (in the Derwent-South East region). Hence, a total of 21 groundwater assessment areas (Gs) are the focus for this report (Figure 1). CSIRO 2009 Groundwater assessment and modelling for Tasmania 1

14 Figure 1. Location of groundwater assessment areas (and their DPIPWE model class) relative to regions 2 Groundwater assessment and modelling for Tasmania CSIRO 2009

15 Figure 2. Simplified geology of Tasmania CSIRO 2009 Groundwater assessment and modelling for Tasmania 3

16 2 Methods 2.1 Prioritisation of groundwater assessment areas The level of assessment that should be undertaken for each region was determined using the same model prioritisation scheme used previously by DPIPWE, at least where there was overlap. The different classes of DPIPWE models (, B and C) were originally determined in 2007 using local knowledge and assessment of data availability and either current or potential future risk of stressed groundwater resources. ccordingly, a tiered approach was adopted for this project, whereby Tier 1 assessments captured the most detailed (Class C) groundwater model areas, Tier 2 assessments captured an intermediate level of detail and sometimes numerical (Class B) models, and Tier 3 assessments captured the most basic (Class ) models and those areas with very limited historical data or understanding of the groundwater resources (see Table 1). Parts of the project area containing significant groundwater resources that were not covered by the DPIPWE project were assigned either a Tier 2 (Longford) or Tier 3 (Coal River) level assessment (see Table 1). Table 1. Groundwater assessment areas in each region, sorted by tier of assessment Region Groundwater assessment area (DPIPWE Model Class) Surface water catchment* Tier 1 rthur-inglis-cam Mella (C), Togari (B) Duck, Montagu Mersey-Forth Wesley Vale (C) Mersey, Rubicon Pipers-Ringarooma Scottsdale (C) Great Forester-Brid rthur-inglis-cam Inglis-Cam (B), Cam-Emu-Blythe (B) Inglis-Flowerdale, Cam, Emu, Blythe Tier 2 Mersey-Forth Leven-Forth-Wilmot (B) Forth-Wilmot, Leven Pipers-Ringarooma Ringarooma (B) Ringarooma, North Esk South Esk Longford (no DPIPWE model) Macquarie, South Esk Derwent-South East Swansea-Nine Mile Beach (B) Swan-psley rthur-inglis-cam Mersey-Forth Flinders Island () Smithton Syncline () King Island () remaining areas (no DPIPWE model) Tier 3 Partial overlap with Mole Creek (), Spreyton (), Sheffield-Barrington () and Kimberley-Deloraine () remaining areas (no DPIPWE model) Flinders Island, Welcome, King Island, rthur, Black-Detention, Emu, Blythe Mersey, Leven, Forth-Wilmot, Rubicon, Tamar Estuary Pipers-Ringarooma remaining areas (no DPIPWE model) Musselroe-nsons, George, Scamander-Douglas, North Esk, Pipers, Little Forester, Boobyalla-Tomahawk South Esk Derwent-South East Partial overlap with Mole Creek () and Kimberley- Deloraine () remaining areas (no DPIPWE model) Mt Wellington-Huonville () and Cygnet-Cradoc () remaining areas (no DPIPWE model), Sorell Tertiary Basalt () * Surface water catchments are shown in ppendix D. Meander, Great Lake, Brumbys, Macquarie, South Esk Huon, Swan-psley, Little Swanport, Prosser, Carlton-Tasman Peninsula, Coal-Pitt Water, Jordan, Clyde, Ouse, Upper Derwent, Lower Derwent, Derwent Estuary 2.2 Groundwater assessments The level of technical assessment undertaken in each tier 1, 2 or 3 area within a region has reflected the quality and quantity of data, knowledge and models available to this project. summary of the key tasks performed in each region is provided in Table 2, and detailed explanations of the methods employed for each task are provided in Description of Project Methods (CSIRO, 2008). The table shows where contextual information and assessment tasks have already 4 Groundwater assessment and modelling for Tasmania CSIRO 2009

17 been undertaken for the DPIPWE project. In these instances, the pertinent information and results were synthesised for this project. 2.3 Recharge estimation and scenario definition The method used to estimate the changes in diffuse recharge for this project is based upon the method used for the Murray-Darling Basin Sustainable Yields Project (Crosbie et al., 2008), which utilises the one-dimensional, soil-vegetation-atmosphere-transfer model WVES (Zhang and Dawes, 1998). This model was chosen because of its balance in complexity between modelling plant physiology, soil physics and water balance. One of its advantages is the ability to simulate plant growth. WVES can model the impact that changes in climate might have upon recharge via changes in different elements of the water balance. These include transpiration and the interception of rainfall on the plant canopy. WVES requires three data sets: climate, soils and vegetation. The 84-year historical climate sequence (1924 to 2007) was extracted from SILO <http://www.longpaddock.qld.gov.au/silo/> for 20 control points selected to cover the rainfall gradient across the project area. The soils data were extracted from the SRIS database for major soil types found in Tasmania and these were grouped according to the ustralian Soils Classification (Isbell, 2002). This generated 12 soil classes for modelling. The vegetation was simplified from the Integrated Vegetation Coverage dataset (BRS, 2008) into three classes: trees (including plantations and native forests), perennial grasslands and cleared areas which were modelled as annual vegetation. WVES was used to model every combination of soil and vegetation type at every (rainfall) control point. The output from WVES represents the drainage from a 4 m soil column assuming a free-draining lower boundary condition. (further detail is provided in Crosbie et al. (2009)). This drainage is assumed to reach a shallow watertable and has therefore been termed recharge for this project. The assumption of a 4 m soil column will introduce inaccuracies where conditions are significantly different, for example on rock outcrops or where the watertable is at the surface. Therefore, WVES estimates of historical recharge rate in such areas should be used with caution. The results of WVES modelling at the 20 control points were used to create regression equations between mean annual rainfall and mean annual recharge for each combination of soil and vegetation type. This allowed recharge to be upscaled using a raster coverage of soils, vegetation and mean annual rainfall using a grid spacing of 0.05 x 0.05 degrees. In contrast to surface water assessments, groundwater systems do not reset each year, but respond to longer period changes in rainfall. For this reason, representative sequences from the historical record were chosen to estimate groundwater responses for the next 23 years (to ~2030). Consecutive 23-year sequences from the 84-year historical modelled recharge sequence were analysed and ranked to generate three separate 23-year scenarios for the historical climate scenario (Scenario ) for further assessment (see Figure 3): Scenario wet is the wettest 90 th percentile 23-year period from within the 84-year modelled record Scenario mid is the wettest 50 th percentile 23-year period from within the 84-year modelled record Scenario dry is the wettest 10 th percentile 23-year period from within the 84-year modelled record. Throughout the WVES modelling there is a downward trend evident in the recharge time series (see Figure 3). This trend generally sees the period selected for Scenario wet early in the 84-year sequence and the period selected for Scenario dry late in the 84-year sequence. This trend and the skewed nature of the distribution of annual recharge are responsible for the median (Scenario mid) being greater than the mean in most cases. This causes Scenario mid recharge scaling factors to be greater than one. This trend in the recharge time series is explored further in Crosbie et al. (2009). CSIRO 2009 Groundwater assessment and modelling for Tasmania 5

18 Figure 3. Example of 84-year Scenario recharge time series from WVES. Red lines show 23-year periods for scenarios wet, mid and dry Table 2. Summary of the main tasks performed for each groundwater assessment area Groundwater assessment area* (Tier) Contextual information GW extraction GW level mapping SW-GW interaction mapping Conceptual model Management issues Change in recharge Extraction/ recharge GW conditions Extraction/ baseflow rthur-inglis-cam Mella and Togari (1) synthesised synthesised synthesised produced** synthesised modelled estimated modelled estimated Inglis-Cam (2) synthesised synthesised synthesised produced synthesised modelled estimated N N Flinders Island (3) synthesised synthesised NR produced synthesised identified modelled estimated N N Welcome (3) synthesised synthesised NR NR synthesised modelled estimated N N King Island (3) synthesised synthesised NR NR synthesised modelled estimated N N Other (3) collated NR NR NR produced modelled NR N N Mersey-Forth Wesley Vale (1) synthesised synthesised synthesised produced** synthesised modelled estimated modelled estimated Cam-Emu-Blythe (2) synthesised synthesised synthesised produced synthesised modelled estimated N N identified Leven-Forth-Wilmot synthesised synthesised synthesised produced synthesised modelled estimated N N (2) Other (3) collated NR NR NR produced modelled NR N N Pipers-Ringarooma Scottsdale (1) synthesised synthesised synthesised produced** synthesised modelled estimated modelled estimated Ringarooma (2) synthesised synthesised synthesised produced synthesised identified modelled estimated N N Other (3) collated NR NR NR produced modelled NR N N South Esk Longford (2) collated estimated synthesised produced produced modelled estimated N N identified Other (3) collated NR NR NR produced modelled NR N N Derwent-South East Coal River (2) collated estimated produced produced produced modelled estimated N N Mt Wellington- Huonville and synthesised synthesised NR NR synthesised identified modelled estimated N N Cygnet-Cradoc (3) Other (3) collated NR NR NR produced modelled NR N N * Note that where groundwater assessment areas identified in Table 1 only partially overlap regions and surface water catchments, they have been grouped together in this table under the other area category. ** Map constrained using both hydraulics and hydrochemistry N not available NR not reported t the 20 control points, Scenario B was clipped from the Scenario modelled recharge time series, specifically for the last 11 years (1 January 1997 to 31 December 2007). Relationships were established between mean annual rainfall and mean annual recharge from the recent (1997 to 2007) years of modelling, enabling a raster of Scenario B recharge to be 6 Groundwater assessment and modelling for Tasmania CSIRO 2009

19 constructed. Dividing this new raster by the Scenario raster produced a raster of recharge scaling factors (RSFs) used in further analysis. Under Scenario C, the climate sequences extracted from SILO were scaled to account for a changed climate as projected by 15 different GCMs for three global warming scenarios (Post et al., 2009). The 45 climate scenarios were modelled using WVES at the 20 control points for every combination of soil and vegetation types. Regression equations were developed between mean annual rainfall and mean annual recharge for the 45 future climate scenarios and the 84-year historical base case. These regression equations enabled upscaling of the results to produce 45 rasters of RSFs in the same manner as Scenario B. The mean RSF was aggregated to a region level and the different GCMs were ranked: Scenario Cwet is the wettest 90 th percentile (rank 2 of 15 rasters) for the high global warming scenario Scenario Cmid is the wettest 50 th percentile (rank 8 of 15 rasters) for the medium global warming scenario Scenario Cdry is the wettest 10 th percentile (rank 14 of 15 rasters) for the high global warming scenario. The same WVES modelling as Scenario C was used for Scenario D. The assumed future commercial plantation forest areas from Viney et al. (2009) (Figure 4) were incorporated into the vegetation raster for upscaling and then 45 recharge rasters were created in the same manner as Scenario C. The same GCMs were used in each region as Scenario C to create RSF rasters for scenarios Dwet, Dmid and Ddry. Figure 4. Distribution of assumed future plantation forests for Scenario D 2.4 Groundwater modelling and assumptions Three calibrated, transient groundwater flow models were available to this project following recent completion of the DPIPWE Development of Groundwater models for Tasmania project (quaterra/rem, 2009a; c; e). These models cover the Mella and Togari groundwater assessment areas (Gs) in the rthur-inglis-cam region, the Wesley Vale G in the Mersey-Forth region, and the Scottsdale G in the Pipers-Ringarooma region (see Figure 1). ll three models were designed and calibrated in accordance with the MDBC Groundwater Modelling Guidelines (MDBC, 2001). CSIRO 2009 Groundwater assessment and modelling for Tasmania 7

20 Recharge time series for groundwater models The groundwater models utilised for this project were calibrated as part of a previous project (REM/quaterra, 2008a s) and so the WVES recharge time series could not be used directly in the models (see model benchmarking exercise reported in ppendix ). The existing calibrated recharge was modified through the use of RSFs. WVES calculates a time series of recharge only at the control points, hence, the new recharge time series for the groundwater model recharge zones were calculated using the shape of the time series from the nearest control point as well as the average from the existing recharge calibrated in the model multiplied by the RSF for that scenario. R R R RSF (1) WS, i MS, i. MC. S RWS where R MS,i is the new recharge to go into the model for a given scenario at stress period i, R WS,i is the recharge from WVES for the nearest control point at stress period i, R WS is the average recharge from WVES for the scenario from the nearest control point, R is the average recharge from the model calibration for the model recharge zone and MC RSFS is the average RSF for the scenario calculated for the model zone. For scenarios wet, mid and dry, the recharge time series from the nearest control point was used in Equation (1) for the appropriate 23-year period along with the RSF. For Scenario B the 11-year time series was looped 2.1 times to create a 23-year time series. For scenarios C and D, the 23-year time period used for the wet, mid and dry scenarios was the same as that used for Scenario mid. This means that for the numerically modelled areas, the average recharge for the model zone derived through model calibration was multiplied by the RSF for Scenario mid and the RSF for the scenario under investigation e.g. RMC RSFmid RSFC. The results of the numerical modelling for scenarios C and D cannot be compared to the 84-year historical period but are directly comparable to Scenario mid. Because scenarios C and D in the models are built from mid, a situation can arise where the recharge implemented in the numerical models for Cdry is greater than the historical average even though the RSF for Scenario Cdry is below one. In addition to the potential future expansion of plantation forests, groundwater modelling under Scenario D also considered increased groundwater extraction for irrigation and enhanced recharge beneath crops that are irrigated using either surface water or groundwater. 8 Groundwater assessment and modelling for Tasmania CSIRO 2009

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