Program and Speakers


Plenary Speakers

Groundwater & Climate Change in Drylands: From Hominin Evolution to Future Human Resilience
Dr. Mark Cuthbert: Senior Research Associate, UCL Dept of Geography
Short bio (PDF)


Grand Challenges for Groundwater

Prof. Craig Simmons, Director, NCGRT
Short bio (PDF)



Groundwater and the Law

Saul Holt QC, Barrister, ‘8 Petrie Terrace’ Chambers 
Short bio (PDF)


When is a Simple Model Better?

Catherine Moore, Senior Groundwater Modeller, GNS Science (New Zealand)

Short bio (PDF)


Chris McCombe, Senior Adviser - Environment at Minerals Council of Australia




Panel Discussions

The Australasian Groundwater Stocktake

This panel discussion will address the current state of groundwater resources, future challenges such as competing uses (agriculture, mining and the environment), future development in groundwater resources (for instance Northern Australia) and development in the governance and policy domain.

Chair: Peter Hyde (MDBA). Panellists: Narelle Neumann (Geoscience Australia), Neil Power (DEWNR), Chris McAuley, Stewart Cameron (GNS).

Climate Change and Groundwater Resource Challenge

Panel sponsored by

This panel will discuss the current state of knowledge of climate groundwater interaction. The panellists will discuss the research gaps which prevents us from predicting the impact of climate change on groundwater resources.

Chair: Andy Baker (UNSW). Panellists: Jason Evans (UNSW), Olga Barron (CSIRO), Derek Eamus (UTS), Glen Walker.

Energy Futures

The energy and groundwater panel will discuss hot issues around how extracting energy from the earth can interact with groundwater flow and quality. Energy from coal and coal seam gas, uranium, and geothermal resources will be considered, along with sub-surface sequestration of carbon dioxide – all in the context of wise use of aquifers and the role of aquitards as barriers to flow.

Chair: Wendy Timms (UNSW). Panellists: Ryan Morris (Origin), Chris McCombe (Minerals Council of Australia), Jim Underschultz (UQ).

Social License to Operate

The panel will discuss the challenges posed by the growing need to account for community acceptance of businesses and their impacts on groundwater. It will address the role of social licence, what it means, what it might require, how it can be responded to, and its interaction with other obligations, such as law.

Chair: Cameron Holley (UNSW). Panellists: Jim McDonald, Justine Lacey (CSIRO), Saul Holt QC.

Future Directions and Innovations in Groundwater

Panel sponsored by

This session will attempt the optimistic aim of considering key future challenges and opportunities for groundwater research and management in one conference session. To do this, we will ask conference participants to provide views on drivers of change prior to the conference (via an on-line survey) and task panelists with providing their own informed imagination about plausible futures. Based on inputs from the audience and panelists, a small selection of plausible futures will be presented and the audience invited to start a dialogue on the implications that will hopefully continue beyond this session.

Chair: Steven Cork (EcoInsights). Panellists: Karen Villholth (International Water Management Institute, South Africa), Richard McLoughlin (Deptartment of Agriculture), Peter Stone (CSIRO).

Modelling Outlook

Panel sponsored by

This panel aims to improve awareness of uncertainty-driven (non-traditional) modelling workflows in a way that is more accessible to practitioners (not just specialists); explore methods of understanding and communicating uncertainty and dealing with its implications in the decision-making process; and review a set of white papers on practical uncertainty methods that augment the material in the existing modelling guidelines and confirm the validity of uncertainty-driven (non-traditional) workflows.

Chair: Hugh Middlemis (HydroGeoLogic). Panellists: Glen Walker, Luk Peeters (CSIRO), Catherine Moore (GNS), Phil Hayes (Jacobs), Stuart Richardson (CDM Smith).

For the AGC 2017 social program, click here.
For the AGC 2017 field trips, click here.