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Alice Springs town basin, review 2003



Alice Springs town basin, review 2003


Read, R. E.


E-Publications; E-Books; PublicationNT; Report ; no. 42/2003




Made available via the Publications (Legal Deposit) Act 2004 (NT).





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Department of Infrastructure, Planning and Environment

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Alice Springs


Report ; no. 42/2003

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Superimposed on this is the intermittent recharge from the Todd River. 5.6.2 Flow models Macqueen (1976) developed a simple model based on a water balance equation. Berry (1992) described a numerical model of the Town Basin that was developed. The results are reported and the parameters used recorded, but the digital data files used for the model have been lost. Macqueen and Berrys results are discussed in Section 6.3.1. 5.7 Recharge 5.7.1 Mechanisms The following processes have been recognised: River recharge Underflow Direct infiltration Local recharge, mostly locally generated run-off. River flows This has long been known to be the dominant recharge process in the Town Basin (Quinlan and Woolley 1969, Macqueen 1976). Underflow Berry (1992) estimated this as 15 ML/year. SKM (2001) estimated 67 ML/year in 1999 and 62 ML/year in 2000. The basis for these figures is not known. This result is questionable and depends on an artificial northern boundary of the basin. With a sustainable yield of over 1000 ML/year the difference between inflow and outflow represents some 2 to 3 %, that is less than the errors in metering the pumped discharge. An attempt was made (Appendix H) to quantify the variability of the inflow, but the influence of pumping on observation bores is too great for sensible answers. However inflow is such a small portion of the overall water balance that variation can be ignored. Direct infiltration (diffuse recharge) and local recharge Quinlan and Woolley (1969) considered that all recharge was from flood waters of the Todd, and by implication that direct infiltration was negligible. Macqueen (1976) assumed that direct recharge was less than 100 ML/year. Berry (1992) assumed a rate of 58 mm/a (418 ML/year) for his 1963-4 calibration and a range of 58 to 131 mm/a (418 ML/year to 943 ML/year) in 1991-2. These figures include irrigation leaching and water main leakage minus leakage to sewers. SKM (2001) stated that 2% of rainfall infiltrates to the aquifer, and from this 24 ML/year in 1999 and 79 ML/year in 2000. In Appendix D diffuse recharge for high rainfall periods was calculated as follows: March 1972 to July 1975 120 mm 40

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