Territory Stories

Development of a Groundwater Model for the Western Davenport Plains



Development of a Groundwater Model for the Western Davenport Plains


Knapton, Anthony; CloudGMS Pty Ltd

Commissioned by

Northern Territory. Department of Environment, Parks and Water Security


E-Publications; E-Books; PublicationNT; WRD Technical Report 27/2017




Western Davenport Water Control District


CloudGMS has been commissioned by DENR to develop a numerical groundwater model of the aquifers within the central area of the WDWCD to improve confidence in the sustainability of the groundwater resources, as this is the area within the WCD with greatest potential for intensive development.


Made available by via Publications (Legal Deposit) Act 2004 (NT); Prepared for Dept Environment and Natural resources

Table of contents

Executive summary -- 1 Background -- 2 Physical -- 3 Available data -- 4 Conceptual model -- 5 Model design & construction -- 6 Parameter estimation -- 7 Water balances -- 8 Sensitivity analysis -- 9 Predictive scenarios -- 10 Conclusions -- 11 Reference -- 12 Document history and version control -- Appendix A - Groundwater level hydrographs - Appendix B - Alek range horticultural farm sub-regional modelling




Groundwater; Northern Territory; Western Davenport Water Control District; Conceptual mode

Publisher name

Northern Territory Governmnet

Place of publication



version 2.0


WRD Technical Report 27/2017


ix, 127 pages : colour illustration and maps ; 30 cm

File type





Attribution International 4.0 (CC BY 4.0)

Copyright owner

Northern Territory Government



Related links

https://hdl.handle.net/10070/842058 [LANT E-Publications: Development of a Groundwater Model for the Western Davenport Plains, version 1.1]

Parent handle


Citation address


Page content

Western Davenport WCD Groundwater Model (v2.0) Physical Setting CloudGMS 9 in summer; frosts have been only rarely recorded in winter. Rainfall is virtually restricted to the summer months, although it is unreliable. Average annual rainfall based on the SILO data for the period 1900-2016 is 310 mm. Average potential evaporation for the same period is 3599 mm. Potential evaporation exceeds rainfall by between 4 times in the summer months and more than a factor of 10 times during winter months. Figure 2-2 Average monthly rainfall compared to average max and min temperatures and average monthly rainfall compared to monthly potential evaporation for the period 1900-2014 (SILO Data Drill). 2.3. Vegetation Soft spinifex (Triodia pungens) is abundant over most parts of the area, with scattered Eucalyptus papuana (ghost gum) and Eucalyptus brevifolia (snappy gum). Triodia basedowii (hard spinifex) occurs sparsely in the lower areas, particularly in places occupied by rocks of the Warramunga Group. Acacia aneura (mulga) forms thick scrub on low-lying clay flats, and numerous acacia species grow on the more sandy areas. Patches of perennial tussock grass, such as Eragostis eriopoda (woollybutt), grow on the wetter sandy areas. Along the shallow valleys and in the floodout areas E. papuans (ghost gum) and E. camaldulensis (river red gum) are common. 2.4. Previous studies Several previous studies have been conducted by the DENR Water Resources Division. A summary of the available reports specific to the Western Davenport WCD are presented in Table 2.