WRC sucess at Hydrology and Water Resources Symposium

NSW WRC PhD candidate Clare Stephens won the Best Student Presentation award at the Engineers Australia Hydrology and Water Resources Symposium (HWRS) held this week in Melbourne. Clare presented the results from her recent paper which compares the performance of an event-based flood model to a continuous simulation model under hundreds of potential future climate change scenarios. Event-based models are a key input to the majority of floodplain management studies and the flood infrastructure design process in industry so understanding how they may perform under future climate change conditions is vital for ensuring robust infrastructure designs. Clare found that the event-based model showed substantial variability in the future compared to the continuous simulation under drier catchment conditions. However rainfall extremes are also expected to increase in the future and under these conditions there are benefits to the event-based model because of the way that it represents the runoff process. This finding was unexpected and shows the importance of a structured framework for assessing climate change sensitivity.

In more success for WRC researchers, Dr Fiona Johnson was awarded the Best Presentation at HWRS. Fiona presented results from a project with NSW Department of Industry Crown Land and Water which is focusing on the likely changes to the frequency and severity of droughts in the future. The first part of the presentation featured work by CVEN Honours research student Van Nguyen who worked with DPI on developing a workflow for assessing the impact of historical climate variability on water sharing plans. The remainder of Fiona’s presentation focused on a new method for downscaling climate model simulations to provide future rainfall time series for DPI. The new downscaling approach is based on wavelet filtering which allows us to identify the contribution to overall variability in rainfall from different time windows. Preliminary results show that the new approach is better at representing extended wet and dry periods compared to traditional downscaling.

Also attending HWRS on behalf of WRC were Professor Ashish Sharma, PhD candidate Suresh Hettiarachchi and visiting  WRC researcher Dr Ruud van der Ent.

Share this