Oral Presentation NCGRT/IAH Australasian Groundwater Conference 2019

A novel approach to collating and mapping groundwater recharge and aquifer property data to communicate variability from temporal and spatial scales (153)

Andrew Barker 1 , Ann Kollmorgen 2 , Eliza Wiltshire 1 , Jon Fawcett 1
  1. CDM Smith, Richmond, VIC, Australia
  2. Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning, Melbourne, VIC, Australia


The Victorian Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning (DELWP) have been undertaking a data enhancement program to improve accessibility to existing groundwater data and understand the uncertainties in data used to inform management decisions. The challenge to date is that historical data sets (recharge and aquifer properties) are not readily accessible, have varied levels of attribution of the data in regard to the method, formats (e.g. vector, raster, text), units (e.g. mm/year vs % rainfall), and project extents and coordinate systems (e.g. AGD84, GDA94, MGA).  

This paper presents a semi-automated methodology by which the variability in formats and units of recharge and aquifer property data sets are organized such that they are consistent (e.g. data formats/scales/units), mapped spatially and presented in an interactive manner, including the ability to determine the reliability of the data sets. This mapping project builds on work undertaken to develop a statewide groundwater inventory.

Design and Methodology

This challenge was tackled by developing visual products for recharge and aquifer properties data sets, the approach included

  • data collation – from 65 studies from the last 50 years;
  • data preparation – a process required to generate a consistent set of data for mapping;
  • development of various mapping methods to consider the most appropriate technique for presenting the available data sets; and
  • construction of the mapping products.



The end product was a mapping product that includes:

  • conversion of data to a variable grid to communicate data intensity, with grid size driven by data density. This allowed higher resolution results in areas where more data was available to inform the mapping.
  • Interactive functionality to communicate variability and data sources across locations, and cumulative distribution graphs that compare results with state-wide distributions



The outputs of this project can inform groundwater resource assessments and groundwater management decisions now and in the future for Victoria.