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) Conceptual Model CloudGMS 50 Figure 4-1 Modelled hydrological components and their interactions in the Western Davenport WCD study area. 1. Precipitation; 2. Overland flow (particularly flood events); 3. Infiltration into the soil; 4. Evapotranspiration from soil and surface water; 5. Evapotranspiration from the root zone; 6. Recharge through the unsaturated flow once the soil moisture deficit is overcome; 7. Groundwater levels (change in groundwater storage) respond to recharge (and discharge); 8. Groundwater throughflow; and 9. Groundwater extraction from pumping wells. 4.3. Groundwater recharge Examination of the groundwater hydrographs suggests that major recharge occurs only every one to two decades and is related to continental scale rainfall events associated with La Nina conditions. La Nina conditions are indicated by sustained positive Southern Oscillation Index of greater than about +8 (refer to section 3.1). Two recharge mechanisms are assumed to operate in the Western Davenport Plains area: Direct (or diffuse) recharge this is defined as the water added to the groundwater in excess of soil moisture deficits and evapotranspiration, by direct vertical percolation of precipitation through the unsaturated zone and is typically distributed over large areas; and Indirect (or local) recharge this results from the percolation of water to the water table following runoff as ponding in low-lying areas or through the beds of surface water courses (Lerner et al., 1990). Localised mountain front recharge along the margin of basins (Wilson & Guan, 2004) can also be an important mechanism in arid / semi-arid environments (i.e. Ti Tree - Wood, et al., 2016).