The hydrogeology of the Condamine River alluvial aquifer (Australia) – a critical review

Technical report


Dafny, Elad and Silburn, Mark D.. 2013. The hydrogeology of the Condamine River alluvial aquifer (Australia) – a critical review. Toowoomba, Australia. University of Southern Queensland.
Title

The hydrogeology of the Condamine River alluvial aquifer (Australia) – a critical review

Report TypeTechnical report
AuthorsDafny, Elad (Author) and Silburn, Mark D. (Author)
Institution of OriginUniversity of Southern Queensland
Number of Pages46
Year2013
PublisherUniversity of Southern Queensland
Place of PublicationToowoomba, Australia
Abstract

The Condamine plain is an important agricultural zone, with ~118 thousand hectares of irrigated crops. Groundwater pumped from the shallow alluvial aquifer (40-60 GL/yr) accounts for one third of the irrigation water. Sustainable agriculture future implies, among other issues, a reliable supply of groundwater to the farmers, in terms of quality and quantity.
The hydrogeology of the shallow Condamine River Alluvium Aquifer (CRAA) was studied for decades in order to provide a management framework and to determine the 'safe yield', as excessive pumping in the past has led to ongoing decline of the water table, up to ~25m in places. Not withstanding the accumulating data and knowledge, the water balance of the aquifer as well as 'safe yield' estimations are still far from being conclusive and has been substantially revised several times during the last decade.
The present report, conducted at the University of Southern Queensland (USQ), collates up-to-date hydrogeological knowledge regarding the CRAA, critically evaluates the accepted hydrogeological conventions, highlights puzzling phenomena and recommends needed work, which can be implemented in a rather expeditious and inexpensive fashion, to overcome the existing knowledge gaps. Refining the hydrogeological knowledge regarding the CCRA is timely, as in the last decade there has been a rapid expansion of the CSG industry in vicinity to the Condamine plain, with the aim to extract methane from the underlying layers. The presumed hydrogeological effects of CSG production upon the shallower CRAA have been delineated but are yet to be adequately quantified. It is our view that the hydrogeological knowledge-gaps should be addressed before predictions of CSG activities effects can be made.

KeywordsCondamine; groundwater management; groundwater resource
ANZSRC Field of Research 2020410402. Environmental assessment and monitoring
370704. Surface water hydrology
370799. Hydrology not elsewhere classified
Public Notes

This report was refined into a journal paper.

Byline AffiliationsNational Centre for Engineering in Agriculture
Department of Environment and Resource Management, Queensland
Journal TitleHydrogeology Journal
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https://research.usq.edu.au/item/q213x/the-hydrogeology-of-the-condamine-river-alluvial-aquifer-australia-a-critical-review

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