L6. Modelling and water management: Evolution of the role of modelling in water management

Hydrological and hydraulic models that attempt at representing the hydrologic and operational processes of the numerous catchments, valleys, basins and rivers have extensively been built across various jurisdictions within Australia, and globally. Early surface water modelling (e.g. 1960s & 1970s) was undertaken to primarily to estimate catchment yields for the purpose of capturing and diverting surface water to meet the growing consumptive needs of the resource. Over course of time, the impacts of this extensive development on the security of supply to the competing needs of this resource were realised, and models were built as impact assessment tools. From then on, water management in Australia has gone through a major evolution, with numerous water management plans, at different stages of development and implementation, being developed by various jurisdictions across the country, with the most prominent being the Basin Plan developed for the Murray-Darling Basin. Modelling has kept abreast with this evolutionary process, from being a broad-scale assessment tool, to one that currently underpins the life-cycle of development, implementation and operationalising of the numerous water plans.

This session is intended to reflect on the journey water resource modelling has undertaken over time and to highlight current successes and future directions to underpin sustainable water management. Papers/presentations on the use of modelling as a critical tool in planning, implementation and operation of actual water management plans are expected to be presented and discussed in this session.