Oral Presentation NCGRT/IAH Australasian Groundwater Conference 2019

Retrospective on 10 years of risk-based guidelines for managed aquifer recharge (67)

Peter J. Dillon 1 , Declan Page 2 , Joanne Vanderzalm 2 , Simon Toze 2 , Craig Simmons 3 , Russell Martin 4 , Karen Johnston 5 , Simon Higginson 6 , Yvonne Thomson 7 , Ryan Morris 8 , Grant Hose 9
  1. CSIRO / NCGRT, Flinders Uni / WGA / Peter Dillon, Kingswood, SA, Australia
  2. CSIRO Land and Water, Adelaide, SA, Australia
  3. Flinders University , NCGRT, Adelaide, SA, Australia
  4. WGA, Adelaide, SA, Australia
  5. Managed Recharge, Perth, WA, Australia
  6. Water Authority, Perth, WA, Australia
  7. Department of Water and Environmental Regulation, Perth, WA, Australia
  8. RDM Hydro Pty Ltd, Brisbane, QLD, Australia
  9. Maquarie University, Sydney, NSW, Australia

The Australian Managed Aquifer Recharge Guidelines, published in 2009, were the world’s first MAR Guidelines based on risk-management principles that also underpin the World Health Organisation’s Water Safety Plans.  In 2015 a survey of Australian MAR project proponents, consultants and regulators revealed that in those states advancing MAR, the guidelines were lauded for giving certainty on approval processes. They were also considered to be pragmatic to use, but there were also comments on onerous data requirements.  The rate of uptake of MAR has varied widely among Australian state jurisdictions, for reasons that are not explained by the drivers for and feasibility of MAR. The states where MAR has progressed are those that have adopted the Guidelines into state regulations.  It was originally intended that these guidelines would be revised after five years, informed by experience with any hazards not considered in the guidelines, and by new scientific developments, and advances in monitoring and control methods.  As such revision has not yet occurred, this paper was prepared to review ten years of experience, identify issues and suggest improvements for consideration in their revision by Australian water regulators, and for information of regulators in other countries considering adopting or developing their own guidelines.  The paper also discusses the value to Australian jurisdictions of having MAR guidelines and factors affecting their international applicability, including on capabilities required for implementation.