Past seminars

2017 NCGRT/IAH Distinguished Lecture Series - Dr. Glen Walker
Dr. Glen Walker Climate Change and Australian Groundwater: Current State of Knowledge and Future Responses

Adelaide: Thursday, 5th October 
Canberra: Tuesday 10th October 
Melbourne: Tuesday, 17th October 
Darwin: Thursday, 26th October 
Sydney: Tuesday, 31st October 
Brisbane: Wednesday, 1st November 
Perth: Thursday, 9th November 


The climate shift in south-western Western Australia and the Millennium Drought has highlighted the need to better understand how water resources will be affected by changing climate across Australia. Australia has long experience with managing water resources in a variable climate. This, together with the Water Reform has meant that Australia is well placed, compared to other countries, to meet the challenges to groundwater management. While the uncertainties associated with the predictions of global climate models can be large, there can be significant risks to groundwater users, groundwater-dependent ecosystems, coastal aquifers and baseflow, without adaptation to changing climate. These risks are higher for systems that are already stressed from consumptive use and management options are being ‘hedged’ while the timing and magnitude of climate shifts become clearer. This talk will provide an overview of the results from recent projects around Australia with learnings about recharge and discharge processes and associated management and recommendations made with respect to knowledge gaps and approaches to addressing climate change.

Bio: Dr Glen Walker

Glen Walker has conducted groundwater and salinity research for over 30 years with CSIRO in Adelaide. Specific research interests included recharge and discharge, vegetation and salinity, catchment modelling for salinity management, groundwater-surface water interactions and climate impacts on groundwater. He also led the groundwater component of the Murray-Darling Basin Sustainable Yields project and is a recipient of WE Woods Award for National Excellence in Salinity Research. Since his retirement from CSIRO in 2014, Glen has been consulting with his company, Grounded in Water, and is a member of the Independent Scientific Expert Committee for Coal Seam Gas and Large Coal Mining Development.

 Proudly sponsored by:  NCGRT and IAH

2016 NCGRT / IAH Distinguished Lecture Series
Regulating the cumulative impacts of groundwater withdrawals: Australia and further afield.
Presented by Dr Rebecca Nelson
​Various locations in Australia 
Read more and register

The regulation of groundwater extraction has shifted dramatically through an intense era of intense water reforms spanning three decades. A key outstanding issue is controlling withdrawals with an eye to their cumulative impacts on groundwater resources and dependent systems. Such control is complicated not just by the incremental additive effects of many small withdrawals, but also by interactive and synergistic effects. This complexity is intensified further by data paucity, potentially significant time lags, and simultaneous background changes to natural systems, such as those caused by climate change. 

Much of the attention to regulating cumulative impacts has focused on ensuring that traditionally unregulated types of groundwater withdrawals are controlled or at least monitored, and on special-purpose regulation of clusters of withdrawal activities, as in coal seam gas extraction. This talk suggests that a broader view is necessary and possible, inspired by national, state and interstate water law and policy, as well as comparative overseas experience. This broader view would encompass a wide and diverse set of regulatory and non-regulatory mechanisms for dealing with cumulative impacts, where those impacts are understood to include a broad scope of impacting activities and complex, interconnected receptor systems. 

NGWA Darcy Lecture Series: Seeing Things Differently: Rethinking the Relationship between Data and Models.
Presented by Ty Ferré
Tuesday 23 August 2016
Read more 

Ty Ferré, Ph.D., is a professor in the Department of Hydrology and Water Resources at the University of Arizona. He received his bachelor's degree in geophysical engineering from the Colorado School of Mines and his Ph.D. in Earth sciences from the University of Waterloo. Ferré's lecture explores how the practice of hydrology depends on computer models while at the same time new methods have been adapted or developed for characterizing and monitoring the subsurface.

2016 Schultz Oration & Flinders Gold Series Public Lectures | Water security and the science agenda
Thu, 30 Jun 2016
Read more

Professor Howard Wheater, Canada Excellence Research Chair in Water Security & Director, Global Institute for Water Security at the University of Saskatchewan will speak on ''Water security and the science agenda."

Distribution, Origin, Fate, and Transport of Methane and Ethane in Shales Using High-Resolution Profiles: The Williston Basin Example. Presented by Dr. Jim Hendry
2 February 2016
Read more

Dr. Jim Hendry is a professor at the University of Saskatchewan where he holds two research chairs. A focal area of Hendry’s research program is the migration of contaminants through clay-rich media (aquitards). Much of this research is directly relevant to the mining and agricultural sectors, as well as nuclear-waste disposal. He has authored or co-authored over 170 refereed scientific publications.

Shifting from a free access to a regulated exploitation regime: groundwater policy reform in France. 
Presented by Jean-Daniel Rinaudo

17 November 2015
Read more

In France, groundwater development has taken place in an institutional setting that imposed few if any limits on groundwater use. Until the early 1990’s, groundwater-use licenses were almost systematically granted to requesting farmers. As abstractions rose and environmental problems emerged, the State first reacted by enforcing temporary pumping restrictions during peak demand periods before imposing annual groundwater Threshold Extraction Limits in overexploited aquifers. Thresholds are specified as annual volumes, they are defined in such a way that groundwater-dependent ecosystems can remain in good ecological condition, under normal climatic conditions. 

NGWA McEllhiney Lecture 2015: Drilling Fluids: A Common Sense Approach. 
Presented by Ronald B. Peterson 
2 October 2015
Read more

This seminar presented how to use the proper drilling fluid for particular projects. Peterson’s presentation briefly covered the evolution of the water well industry with emphasis on drilling fluids and grouts, and the progress that has been made over time as technology and the understanding of drilling fluids has improved.

2015 Henry Darcy Lecture Series in Groundwater Science 
“Evaluating the Competitive Use of the Subsurface: The Influence of Energy Storage and Production in Groundwater.” Presented by Dr. Rainer H. Helmig
18 August 2015
Read more

In this lecture, Helmig provided an insight into how advanced numerical models may be used to analyse and predict the mutual influence of subsurface projects and their impact on groundwater reservoirs, and the expanding need to do so.

Taking stock of Earth’s groundwater and its renewability. Presented by M Bayani Cardenas
17 April 2015
Read more

This presentation was based on the upcoming paper: The global volume and distribution of modern groundwater, by Tom Gleeson, Kevin M. Befus, Elco Luijendijk, Scott Jasechko, and M. Bayani Cardenas, which has been reviewed and revised for publication.

Flow and Transport Properties of Fractured Bedrock Aquifers in the Vertical Direction. 
Presented by Kent Novakowski
16 March 2015
Read more

Assessing the ability of an unconfined bedrock aquifer to transmit infiltrating water and contaminants vertically downwards has long been a difficulty for practicing hydrogeologists. Typically, the conduits for flow are vertical fractures or joints that may intersect the ground surface or subcrop beneath a thin veneer of soil. Although this setting is widely recognized to pose a risk to the quality of water in the aquifer, we actually know very little about the fluid and transport processes across the bedrock surface. In this talk, the results of studies conducted recently at two field sites, one set in sedimentary rock and the other in a gneissic terrain, will be presented. 

NGWA Henry Darcy Lecture Series. What Happens in the Pore, No Longer Stays in the Pore: Opportunities and Limitations for Porous Media Characterisation and Process Quantification Using X-ray Tomography. Presented by Dorthe Wildenschild
27 February 2015
Read more

This presentation was an overview of the current state of imaging of porous media systems and processes taking place within them using x-ray tomography, a technique that allows for three-dimensional observation and measurement of variables internal to an otherwise opaque object.

2015 NCGRT Distinguished Lecture Series
Progress in managed aquifer recharge and the water banking frontier followed by an interactive session "Listening to local MAR progress, plans and implementation issues". Presented by Dr Peter Dillon.
​Various locations in Australia and New Zealand.
Read more

This talk covered a retrospective on some key research findings that together with our national treasures have given Australia an international head-start on the practice of MAR with urban stormwater and on MAR guidelines and policy. Myths that have deferred uptake and remaining research gaps are exposed. The talk projected forward to reveal new technical, policy and institutional considerations for implementing water banking for drought security. It concluded with a concise summary of current activities of the IAH Commission on MAR.

SA IAH/NCGRT Modellers’ Forum #5
25 February 2015
Read more

The GEN3 Surat Basin Regional Groundwater Flow Model will be introduced and discussed. This is the third numerical groundwater flow model to be generated for the QCLNG Project. The model integrates a robust and regionally-consistent stratigraphic framework of the major geological units with the latest hydrogeological conceptualisation of the Surat Basin. The key enhancements compared to previous simulations are the detailed characterisation of the Walloon Subgroup and dual phase gas and water modelling capability.

SA IAH Chapter/ NCGRT Seminar - Fracking: Friend or Foe?
26 November 2014

Read more

The controversy about fracking continues unabated around Australia. Three speakers have shed some light on the fracking process and the risks to groundwater resources with special reference to the South East, SA.

Extending PHREEQCs capabilities to high temperature, salinity and pressure environments. Presented by Dr Tony Appelo
7 November 2014

Read more

Research of subsurface environments targeted for unconventional gas resources, CO2 sequestration and geothermal energy generation, where high temperatures, pressures and salinities usually prevail, are driving the need for extended capabilities of geochemical modelling codes. This presentation will describe the recent changes that were made to PHREEQC to extend its applicability to higher temperatures and pressures. 

2014 NGWA McEllhiney Lecture: Groundwater Spreadsheets: Efficient and Practical Resource for Solving Simple and Complex Flow, Pollution, and Environmental Problems.
Presented by Carlos Molano.

14 May 2014

Carlos E. Molano’s lecture focussed on how you can use spreadsheets in simple form without any programming or complex mathematics to solve a wide range of groundwater problems.While various groundwater applications are presented mainly for Latin America (from pre-Columbus and pre-Inca times to current times where very often there is a lack of data and other resources), they can also be used all over the world to learn how some cost-effective solutions may be applied for many other situations.

NCGRT 2014 Distinguished Lecturer
Groundwater-dependent ecosystems: key questions, new methods and a response curve.
Presented by Professor Derek Eamus.
29 April 2014 

This talk examined trends in global drought and forest mortality and the application of remote sensing techniques. It summarised the results of a recent comparative study of leaf, whole tree and canopy woodland ecophysiology along a pronounced depth-to-groundwater gradient that has generated an ecosystem-scale response function to differences in depth-to-groundwater.

IAH/NCGRT Groundwater Modellers' Forum
The Analytic Element for Solving Groundwater Problems
10 April 2014

The analytic element method is a numerical method used to solve partial differential equations, which has been used worldwide over many years specifically for modelling regional flow, although it is not commonly used in Australia. There is a range of advantages and limitations to using this approach compared to MODFLOW, and this forum will delve into when it can be most successfully applied.

NCGRT/ACSMP workshop: When is aquitard seepage significant?
27 March 2014 
Various presenters

This two-day workshop co-presented by the NCGRT and the Australian Centre for Sustainable Mining Practices at the University of New South Wales, gave an overview of innovative techniques, including vertical permeability testing at core-bore-formation scale, geocentrifuge physical modelling, stable isotope and organic carbon tracers, ITRAX core scanning, wireline and geophysical methods.

Seminar and celebration: scientists find vast new freshwater resources below the sea.
Presented by Dr. Vincent Post.

18 December 2013

Scientists have discovered huge reserves of freshwater kilometres out to the sea, providing new opportunities to stave off a looming global water crisis. Lead author Dr Vincent Post will give a short presentation on this exciting work, which will be followed by celebratory drinks and nibbles.

What can Australia learn from western US groundwater law and policy?
Presented by Dr. Rebecca Nelson.
6 December 2013

The western US and Australia face the twin challenges of providing water to support consumptive and environmental values in the context of frequent water scarcity. They also have broadly comparable cultures, legal systems and levels of development. States in Australia and the western US have pursued different elements of, and approaches to, common groundwater sustainability challenges. This combination of similarities and differences makes for productive lesson-sharing about developing and expanding the implementation of successful law and policy approaches to ensure sustainable groundwater supplies.

2013 Darcy Distinguished Lecturer - Managing Groundwater beneath the Agricultural Landscape.
Presented by Dr. David Rudolph
Various dates across Australia

Dr. David L. Rudolph’s 2013 Darcy Lecture presentation provided insight on how the nature of groundwater quality has been impacted from agricultural land-use practices, at both local and regional scales, with a specific focus on nitrate and microbial indicator species.

Past Seminars

IAH/NCGRT Modellers Forum
Friday May 20 2016

Uncertainty in hydrogeology and groundwater modelling is front and centre in groundwater science, management and policy. Methods to measure, conceptualise, understand, reduce and communicate uncertainty remain key issues.  This seminar and panel discussion will present state of the art understanding and approaches in this area and will discuss and debate the needs and future directions in a Q&A style panel.The proposal to develop the Galilee Basin coal deposits presents a new threat to spring ecosystems. I will be explaining the nature of the springs, the fossil resources and the groundwater with which they are associated, and how impacts can be predicted using the Doongmabulla Springs near the proposed Carmichael Coal Mine as an example.