Skip to main content
Go to search page

Hydrological modelling for the Northern Basin

When the Basin Plan was legislated in 2012, it was recognised that the information base in the northern Basin was less developed than that in the south. With the support of Basin governments, the Murray–Darling Basin Authority undertook a planned review of the sustainable diversion limits in the north.

From 2012 to 2016, MDBA invested in new knowledge and new research. Hydrological modelling was one of the key research areas. The purpose of the hydrological modelling was to measure the long-term flow changes that could occur under a wide range of possible Basin Plan options. The MDBA applied the catchment-scale models built by Basin governments.

Reports and addendums are available below along with flow and diversions data for 10 modelling scenarios.

This information, along with social, economic and environmental research, along with advice from partner governments and community members was used to inform the Authority’s decision that led to the Northern Basin amendment.



Hydrological modelling reports for the northern Basin
Hydrological modelling for the northern Basin full report

The full report describes the model, data and assumptions underpinning the hydrological modelling and the results of the analysis for the Northern Basin Review.

Hydrological modelling for the Northern Basin summary of report

A 30 page summary of the full report.

Update to summary report

This document provides an update to tables E1 and E2 in the Hydrological modelling for the northern Basin review – summary report. The tables have been updated to include information about the final scenario upon which the proposed amendment to sustainable diversion limits is based. In both tables, the scenario representing the MDBA's proposed amendment is Scenario K 320 GL (1117).

Supplementary reports
Hydrological modelling for the northern Basin – Supplementary Report for the Namoi

This supplementary report to the Northern Basin Review describes analysis of model outputs undertaken for the Namoi which was based on the Environmentally Sustainable Level of Take (ESLT) approach. The analysis found that achieving the desired environmental outcomes was not possible with only 10 GL of water recovery and that a volume of 20 GL would be required instead. This revised threshold represents a step change in achievable outcomes environmental outcomes, especially those associated with in-channel freshes and anabranch connection flow events.

Macquarie-Castlereagh modelling addendum
Independent review report
Independent review of the hydrological modelling framework

An independent reviewer, Drew Bewsher has reviewed the hydrological modelling for the Northern Basin Review to ensure it is technically sound and compliant with relevant aspects of the Basin Plan. Drew Bewsher has been working in water resource modelling for 40 years, including the audit of the Cap models over the last decade.

Flow and diversion data (released August 2018)

Modelled flow and diversion data is available on for 10 regions: Paroo, Warrego, Condamine–Balonne, Moonie, Border Rivers, Gwydir, Namoi, Macquarie–Castlereagh, Barwon-Darling and the Southern Basin. The Northern Basin Review model scenario summary is also availabe to view.