Australian Research Council
ARC LP180100796: Observed streamflow generation changes: better understanding and modelling $898,676 (ARC: $538,676, Partners $360,000) over 3 years, CI Peel & Peterson.
This project aims to investigate drivers and triggers of variable streamflow response during and after drought and develop modelling strategies and model structures more robust to changing streamflow response. In many catchments during the Millennium Drought, streamflow generation was less than expected and hydrologic models performed poorly. After the drought, streamflow generation is yet to recover in some catchments. This Project expects to generate new knowledge about variable streamflow response to drought and develop strategies and models to robustly simulate runoff during and after changed conditions, which should provide significant benefit via better understanding and modelling of streamflow response under changing conditions.
ARC-LP0991280: A new paradigm for catchment management: detection, forecasting and management of water catchments with multiple steady states $524,000 (ARC: $374,000, Partners: $150,000) over 3 years, CIs Western & Peterson.
The project challenged a fundamental and widespread assumption within hydrology that catchments are infinitely resilient to disturbances. The proposal was conceived and written by myself and built upon the theoretical findings from my PhD. I was a Chief Investigator on the project and was awarded an ARC Post-doctoral Fellowship (APDI). Outcomes from the project include four first author papers in Water Resources Research, one of which as selected as a Feature Article by the American Geophysical Union and the adoption of project outputs by the Bureau of Meteorology for the National Water Accounts.
Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning: Victorian Catchment Drought Response and Recovery: Understanding where and why. $1.1M, 2017-20 financial year. CIs Peel and Peterson
The Millennium Drought exposed major deficiencies in hydrological theories explaining catchment response to and recover from prolonged droughts. In some Victorian catchments during the Millennium Drought significantly less streamflow was generated for a given rainfall that expected1. After the drought, 73% of the 72 Bureau of Meteorology reference catchments had not recovered by December 20152. These dynamics are consistent with catchments having multiple steady states, and present the first field evidence that catchments have a finite resilience to disturbances. The Victorian Government recognises the implications of these findings to water security and are funding a 3 years research program as part of the Water For Victoria strategy. The project aims to:
- Quantify the response to, and recovery from, prolonged drought in Victoria’s gauged catchments;
- Understand the climatic and biophysical cause(s) of the response and recovery, and;
- Develop hydrological tools based on insights gained from this research to improve water management during prolonged droughts.
1 Saft M, Western AW, Zhang L, Peel MC, Potter NJ (2015). The influence of multiyear drought on the annual rainfall-runoff relationship: An Australian perspective. Water Resources Research, 51, 2444–2463.
2 Peterson TJ, John A, Western AW (in-prep). Catchment non-recovery to prolonged droughts.
Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning: VAF Enhancement using geostatistical analysis using hydrological tools (HydroSight). $164,855, 2017, Primary CI Peterson.
Estimates of aquifer conductivity and storativity is vital for understanding and managing groundwater security and fluxes. However, at all of Victoria’s major aquifers the estimates are non-existent or very uncertain. The Victorian Government are tackling this long-standing problem by funding a major extension to my HydroSight (http://peterson-tim-j.github.io/HydroSight/) groundwater statistics package. The project aims to develop and test methods to quantify the aquifer hydraulic properties at two trial management areas using only observed groundwater hydrographs and the historic pumping data. A major challenge of the project will be to overcome the poor historic pumping data (annual timestep and commenced in 2001). Preliminary results are promising and if successful the Government has agreed to fund application to all major Victorian aquifers.
Bureau of Meteorology: Strengthening AWRA-L groundwater flux and storage estimation. $250,112, 2017, CI Peterson and Ryu
This project aims to strengthen the deep fluxes and storages of the Bureau of Meteorology Australian Landscape Water Balance (AWRA-L) model by incorporating my monthly Victorian water table elevation maps for 1/1/1985-1/8/2014 (developed in ARC-LP130100958). This will be achieved by simultaneously calibrating multiple catchments to daily streamflow and distributed groundwater level and evaluating the outcomes at independent catchments. It is anticipated that constraining the deeper stores to the water table will improve both the slow and quickflow components of total streamflow, and potentially also the estimation of prolonged droughts. If the project is successful, the Bureau plan to apply my water table maps nationally and then apply the AWRA-L joint streamflow-groundwater calibration scheme nationally.
Bureau of Meteorology: Hydrologic change in rainfall-streamflow characteristics. $157,211, 2018, CI Western, Peel, Peterson and Saft
This project aims to apply the tools developed from the above project titled “Victorian Catchment Drought Response and Recovery” to understand change in runoff generation across Australia.