In many urban regions of Australia, the interactions between groundwater and surface water strongly impact the overall urban hydrology affecting the effectiveness of water sensitive urban design (WSUD).

This project is designed to advance the understanding of how water and nutrients are transported from the surface to the receiving waters (including groundwater), and how the nutrient cycling works that occurs along the way. This project aims to define the hydrological responses to the urbanisation of areas where groundwater-surface water interactions exist, including those areas with high or perched groundwater tables. It also helps define the impact of modifying hydrological regimes on nutrient transport in these areas.

Key outcomes

The primary outcome of this project will be an improved understanding of urban hydrology and contaminant flow pathways, which will inform WSUD planning and implementation, and improve the management of shallow groundwater in the urban environment.

All outputs relate to areas with significant groundwater–surface water interactions and include water and nutrient mass balances for urban catchments, a meta analysis of existing urban water monitoring datasets from the Swan Coastal Plain, an identification of urban water data gaps, a protocol for urban water monitoring, and practitioner knowledge transfer workshops in Western Australia.

The knowledge generated from this system will be assessed for transferability to other urban settings (Melbourne and Brisbane).

Researchers have already collected evidence to support the development of a conceptual model of groundwater-surface water interactions based on mass balances for WSUD elements impacted by shallow water tables.

Last updated: 13th Jun 2016