The Queensland Water Modelling Network (QWMN) is improving the state’s capacity to model its surface water and groundwater resources and their quality. The QWMN provides the tools, information and collaborative platforms to support best-practice use of water models, and the uptake of their results by policy makers and natural resource managers. It aims to:
- Build a state-wide network with national influence to deliver transformative change by:
- building a legacy of transformation through a priority model or suite of models
- engaging across sectors with a stake in water modelling to inform investment in decision-making, planning, research and teaching
- contributing to the state and national agendas through key initiatives and collaboration
- addressing critical strategic gaps and weaknesses in water models at all scales.
- Foster integrated and scalable modelling to address water risks and opportunities by:
- improving integration of all Queensland hydrology, groundwater and water quality models, including Great Barrier Reef models
- integrating environmental monitoring activities with water modelling, particularly in priority catchments and basins
- supporting development and implementation of finer-scale assessment and modelling framework to better prioritise and evaluate works.
- Champion a community of practice to leverage expertise by:
- improving the efficiency, application and use of models by practitioners providing advice to end-users
- engaging with Queensland’s broader modelling community seeking to partner with the academic, private, public research and government sectors
- supporting the development of standards or requirements that improve water models over time.
- Encourage strategic co-investment and co-production in water modelling research, development and innovation (RDI) by:
- identifing priority RDI opportunities to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of water modelling in Queensland
- facilitating targeted co-production and co-investment with leading collaborative partners to advance shared goals.
- Increase application of water modelling to inform decision-making by:
- enhancing ability of models to support assessment and consideration of water related cumulative impacts or responses to scenarios
- seeking opportunities to harvest multiple data sources to improve model performance and applicability.
QWMN activities have been based around five key themes: model integration; model improvement; model management; building capacity and uptake; communications and engagement.
The QWMN has identified four key strategic challenges for water modelling in Queensland in 2018-2020. These are:
- Climate change and variability (e.g. improving modelling capability to handle longer simulation periods)
- Landscape restoration and redesign (e.g. nutrient offset assessment methodology and tools)
- Water planning, integration and management (e.g. integration of urban models – catchment and point)
- Model management (e.g. treatment and communication of model uncertainty).
Since the QWMN’s establishment in 2017, it has initiated more than 14 collaborative projects ranging from a catalogue of the major water models used by the Queensland Government through improved integration between agricultural and catchment models to a review of the treatment of climate change in the state’s water models.