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 Just Accepted

This article has been peer reviewed and accepted for publication. It is in production and has not been edited, so may differ from the final published form.

Trajectory river modelling – A decision-support tool to help manage multiple risks associated with planning around variable water resources

Mat Gilfedder, Geoff Podger, David Rassam, Dan Pagendam, Catherine Robinson


The application of river models to inform water resource planning and management is a growing, global phenomenon. This requires models to be applied so that they are useful to water decision-makers charged with setting targets that provide adequate water flows to sustain landholders and communities. This article examines why and how the innovative application of river models can facilitate interactions between water science and water management in Australia’s Murray‐Darling Basin. A trajectory river modelling method has been applied to run multiple short historical climate sequences through a river flow model to provide historical probabilities. These can allow better assessment of the risks and impacts associated with stream flow and water availability. This method allows known historical variability to be presented, and produces relevant results for a 10‐15 year water sharing plan lifetime. The benefits are demonstrated in the Lachlan Catchment (Murray‐Darling Basin) where modelled river flows obtained using a single‐run 114 year historical period are compared with multiple 15 year sequences. Results demonstrate the increased variability between shorter 15 year sequences than for a single 114 year run. This approach highlights the benefits of expressing modelling results as historical probabilities to inform short term and strategic water planning efforts.

MF14002  Accepted 26 March 2014
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