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Department of Environment and Science

Queensland Government

Science portfolio of the Department of Environment and Science

Department of Environment and Science

Queensland Water Modelling Network Programs and Projects

Active programs

QWMN External Engagement Program

The QWMN has initiated an External Engagement Program (PDF, 47K) (EEP) to help build the capacity of water modelling and user expertise in Queensland, facilitate engagement across the full range of actors in the Queensland water-modelling ecosystem, and stimulate innovation in all aspects of water modelling and use. A consortium, led by the International Water Centre, is delivering a program of work that complements QWMN activities and investments to facilitate greater collaboration among water modellers, users and decision makers across Queensland, creating a community of water modelling excellence.

A key initiative is the QWMN Innovation Program that will see Innovation Associates register for PhD degrees then work directly with industry partners in local and state government and the private sector, to develop practical solutions to state, regional and local economic, environmental and social challenges.

Other activities include the annual QWMN Forum, a state-wide skills and knowledge audit to guide investment in education, training and workforce capability growth, a Hack, and a mentoring program to nurture and guide students into water modelling as a career path.  A dedicated website to showcase the Program and its activities is being developed.

Consortium members are the Australian Institute of Marine Science, Griffith University, the International Water Centre, Queensland Cyber Infrastructure Foundation, Queensland University of Technology, The University of Queensland, and the University of Southern Queensland.

Active projects

Critical review of climate change in Queensland water modelling 

This project aims to assess Queensland’s current ability to incorporate climate variability and climate change projections in water models. Bringing together an experienced team of hydrologists, hydroclimate scientists, water quality scientists and practitioners, Alluvium Consulting Australia is delivering the project in partnership with the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) and University of Newcastle. Using the best available science, the project will provide a clear pathway to consistent, robust modelling approaches for assessing climate change in Queensland water models. Read the Critical review of climate change and water modelling in Queensland report (PDF, 2.2M).

Improvements to the Dynamic SedNet model which underpins Paddock to Reef catchment modelling

The Dynamic SedNet model, which underpins Paddock to Reef catchment modelling, is implemented as a series of plugins to the eWater Source system. Independent reviews suggest Dynamic SedNet could be more efficiently implemented outside of eWater Source. This project, delivered by Yorb, and co-funded by the Department of Natural Resources, Mines and Energy and Queensland Hydrology, will develop an improved and independent implementation of Dynamic SedNet.

Improve Source constituent modelling to support catchment management investment decisions

Source provides a powerful, flexible platform for catchment modelling, but its existing default constituent models (including constituent generation, filtration and transport) are inadequate for catchment management investment decisions. This project, delivered under a collaborative research agreement with ANU, and co-funded by the Department of Natural Resources, Mines and Energy will develop and implement fit-for-purpose constituent models.

Implementation of recommendations from the independent Howleaky model review to improve governance arrangements and future management

Howleaky is a one dimensional, soil water balance model that allows users to explore the impacts of soil physical properties, climate, management practices and crop growth on the soil water balance, runoff/erosion and pesticide and nutrient losses. This project, delivered through a collaborative research agreement with USQ, will implement recommendations from the independent review of the Howleaky model to improve its governance, version control and long-term stability.

Improving model-based decision-support through simulator-independent parallelism to improve model scaling efficiency and run-times

The new generation of in-house and cloud-based computing hardware presents previously unavailable options for massive parallelism. Easily implemented parallelism at the model run level can provide a means through which environmental modelling can progress towards its decision-support potential. This project, delivered by Watermark Numerical Computing, will develop a new run manager with a front-end application programmers interface (API) callable from multiple languages and a back end optimized for use in office network environments, and on Windows/Linux high-performance computing clusters.

Development and delivery of data management and visualisation to support water quality modelling teams

Data visualisation capability is seen as fundamental in improving uptake and application of model outputs and recommendations by policy makers and resource managers. This project, delivered by Yorb, and co-funded by the Office of the Great Barrier Reef, will develop standardised templates for catchment and paddock models, develop standardised data extraction capability and refine the dynamic visualisation layers.

Prediction of daily rainfall and runoff peak rates to inform hillslope erosion prediction and improve water quality modelling

This project will provide data improvements and estimation techniques that might allow hillslope erosion predictions of the Paddock to Reef catchment modelling for Reef Plan (for grazing lands) to be more sensitive to cover and management improvements. Delivered by Griffith University, this project will include data products for predictions of runoff depth and the peak runoff rate, at time and spatial scales for improved P2R Catchment modelling for Reef Plan.

QWMN Reef Modelling Fellow – establishing strategic estuarine, gully and streambank modelling capability to build on and complement existing proficiencies

Based in the Australian Rivers Institute, Griffith University, the Queensland Water Modelling Network Fellow will undertake research that improves model functionality and capability between the catchment and its receiving water environments, having consideration for the influence of land use/land management, climate change and policy interventions to sustain the Great Barrier Reef (GBR). The work will initially focus on the riverine and estuarine environment, building on knowledge, capacity and models that have been developed for the GBR to establish strategic estuarine, gully and streambank modelling capability.

Development of tools and strategies to support regional groundwater supply security assessments in Queensland

Groundwater is a common source of water supply for many rural and urban communities within Queensland, with many towns either wholly or partly dependent on groundwater as major source of town water. However, evaluation of this resource is often difficult, making risk assessment and management challenging. Piloted in Monto and Biggenden but with potential statewide relevance, the project will deliver a shared understanding of the capability of a community’s water supply system to meet current and forecast future urban water demand, and the associated water supply security risks.

Completed projects

Integrating paddock scale modelling and water Source models to inform Reef investment decisions

This project will improve the interface between agricultural systems modelling (paddock scale models) and catchment scale water resource/water quality Source models to inform Reef investment decisions and evaluate best management practice implementation effectiveness. Delivered by Alluvium, this project, Integration of Paddock-Scale Modelling and Source (PDF, 15M). Delivered by Alluvium, this project improves the representation of daily constituent concentrations entering the Reef.

Development of an annotated catalogue of water models in use in government 

This project, delivered by Griffith University, developed an annotated catalogue of the major water models in use by government. The QWMN Water Model Catalogue (PDF, 2.3M) will serve as a reference for new users and non-experts and facilitate broader and appropriate use of water models in policy and decision-making, inside and outside government.

Improvements to the core eWater software to enhance model run time efficiency, performance and stability to inform water resource planning

The eWater SOURCE modelling framework has been used to report on Great Barrier Reef plan water quality targets progress since 2009. The increasing complexity of the SOURCE modelling framework is severely impacting run time efficiency in parallel with a growing demand for more integrated model outputs. This project, delivered by eWater and co-funded by the Department of Natural Resources, Mines and Energy, has supported improvements to the core eWater software to enhance model run time efficiency, performance and stability.

Development of consensus based streambank and gully conceptual models in Queensland

This project, led by Dr Ian Prosser, synthesised existing knowledge of biophysical processes driving gully, streambank and channel erosion dynamics, focusing on Queensland catchments and conditions, to develop a conceptual framework to support the use of new process knowledge and spatial information to improve the existing modelling framework. Key to the project was a facilitated workshop involving leading Australian researchers in gully and streambank erosion modelling and monitoring.

Good modelling practice principles of the Queensland Water Modelling Network

This project delivered under the government's collaborative research agreement with ANU developed a reference document – the Queensland Water Modelling Network Good Modelling Practice Principles (PDF, 1.5M) – which outlines a current and consistent approach to modelling principles for R&D. It aims to support the broader understanding and use of models in the government, private and university sectors

Commissioning a detailed scope of work to support parallelism of models at the simulator level

The increasing complexity of environmental models coupled with model calibration demands results in an increased requirement for computational resources. This project, delivered through Watermark Numerical Computing, will develop a detailed scope of work for the development of a software suite, which supports parallelism of models at the simulator level.

Last updated
11 June 2019