Reliable estimates of water availability across Australia are required for historical understanding, current status evaluation and planning purposes. These estimates must be made for the majority of Australia based on limited or no observations. This presentation introduces Australian Water Resources Assessment Landscape (AWRA-L) model, towards use for water availability assessments with a particular focus here on groundwater.
AWRA-L is a one dimensional, 0.05° grid based daily water balance model over the continent that has semi-distributed representation of the soil, groundwater and surface water stores developed by CSIRO and the Bureau of Meteorology, and now run operationally within the Bureau. The Australian Landscape Water Balance website (www.bom.gov.au/water/landscape) — provides access to AWRA-L modelled soil moisture, runoff, evapotranspiration, deep drainage and precipitation with daily gridded outputs available from 1911 until the present. Further, AWRA-L has also been released as a community modelling system (https://github.com/awracms/awra_cms) so the public, researchers and organisations can now access, run and alter the model and suggest changes. This means AWRA can be used for different applications, such as local and regional area applications using locally relevant climate, soil or vegetation properties.
We present evaluation of AWRA-L - focused on comparison of deep drainage to recharge estimates collated nationally. AWRA-L performs reasonably for deep drainage according to evaluation against a national dataset. Further, we compare the deep drainage output by AWRA-L to other available methods applied within the Murray-Darling Basin; and show where AWRA-L falls within the range of methods compared described in light of the assessment against recharge estimates. Future developments of AWRA-L are also discussed.
The groundwater community can now easily visualise, investigate and download up-to-date daily water balance information including deep drainage to further inform groundwater modelling activities. Overall this modelling system provides a valuable addition to groundwater availability assessment across Australia.