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) Parameter Estimation CloudGMS 85 Figure 6-5 Monthly groundwater extraction for the period 1970-2015 source DENR (2016). 6.5.7. Transient objective function The objective function used in the transient parameter estimation analysis was the weighted sum of squared residuals (WSSR) using 19936 groundwater level measurements from 48 observation bores in the model domain and includes all available groundwater level data for the period 1970-2015. To address the issue of any datum errors associated with the elevation of the bore measurement point, the observations were converted from absolute levels in metres above Australian Height Datum to head relative to the first observation for each bore. Doherty and Hunt (2010) suggest that the use of differences between subsequent head measurements, or between each head measurement and a user-specified reference level (for example the first measurement from each well) will often facilitate better estimation of storage and/or recharge parameters than would result if head values alone were employed in the calibration process. Thus, failure to exactly match heads need not compromise the ability of the calibration process to estimate a set of parameters that captures the system dynamics (for example, seasonal or multi-seasonal head differences). The ability of a model to be employed for short- or medium-term aquifer management will be improved as a result. 6.6. Estimated transient parameters The final overland flow parameters were not varied during calibration are presented in Table 20. Table 20 Final overland flow parameters Item Value Unit Manning M 25 m1/3/s Detention storage 10 mm The final unsaturated soil retention curve parameter values and Averjanov hydraulic conductivity parameters are presented in Table 21.