An outcome of the 1994 Council of Australian Government's Water reform framework was that water allocation planning is required to protect ecosystems, including Groundwater Dependent Ecosystems (GDEs) that have an important function or conservation value. The unprecedented dry conditions from 1997 to 2009 have highlighted the significant role that groundwater plays in maintaining many natural systems. It is important to understand the sensitivity of ecosystems to different stresses. GDE sensitivity includes impacts of changes to water levels, chemistry, recharge, or discharge volume. GDEs may be altered by indirect or direct effects of climate change, changes in surface water management, groundwater pumping for water supply,changes in water quality, or land use changes.
This project phase developed a methodology based on available data for assessing potential sensitivity of the GDEs to perturbation of the hydrologic system. This project phase successfully integrated species tolerance modelling with the Victoria-wide GDE mapping. The species tolerance model provides a basis for assessment of GDE sensitivity.
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|Front page, Table of Contents, Executive Summary|
|Conceptual Sensitivity Model|
|Portland GMA Results|
|Upper Loddon WSPA Results|