River system modelling for the Flinders and Gilbert Agricultural Resource Assessment case study analysis. A technical report to the Australian Government from the CSIRO Flinders and Gilbert Agricultural Resource Assessment, part of the North Queensland Irrigated Agriculture Strategy

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Holz, Linda; Kim, Shaun; Petheram, Cuan; Podger, Geoff; Hughes, Justin; Kehoe, Michael; Aramini, Daniel; Podger, Scott; Lerat, Julien; Poulton, Perry; Hornbuckle, John; Perraud, Jean-Michel

Holz, Linda; Kim, Shaun; Petheram, Cuan; Podger, Geoff; Hughes, Justin; Kehoe, Michael; Aramini, Daniel; Podger, Scott; Lerat, Julien; Poulton, Perry; Hornbuckle, John; Perraud, Jean-Michel


2013-12-19


Report


119 p


The Flinders and Gilbert Agricultural Resource Assessment (the Assessment), of which this report is a part, provides a comprehensive and integrated evaluation of the feasibility, economic viability and sustainability of agricultural development in these two catchments as part of the North Queensland Irrigated Agricultural Strategy. The Assessment includes detailed analysis of six case studies. These case studies represent an integrated evaluation of the scale of opportunity of irrigation in key geographic areas of the catchment, and enable an assessment of the viability of irrigation and its sustainability. This report is the companion report to Lerat et al. 2013, which described the configuration and calibration of eWater Source river models for the Flinders and Gilbert catchments. The focus of this report is to describe the approaches by which these models were used to assess the reliability of supplying water to potential irrigation developments in the Flinders and Gilbert catchments and examine the potential impacts on streamflow and existing entitlements. Potential irrigation development was assessed in the form of case studies, there being three case studies each for the Flinders and Gilbert catchments as follows: Flinders catchment case studies: • Cave Hill Dam and irrigated sorghum • O’Connell Creek off-stream storage and irrigated rice • Irrigation mosaics and a variety of irrigated crops Gilbert catchment case studies: • Green Hills dam and irrigated three-crop rotation • Dagworth and Green Hills dams and irrigated sugarcane • Kidston Dam and irrigated Rhodes grass For each case study, sensitivity testing was undertaken to assess the viability of an irrigation development under a range of possible development options. For each case study, the eWater Source results were used to evaluate crop yield in conjunction with the Agricultural Production Systems Simulator (Keating et al., 2003) model. The profitability of each of the irrigation developments was then evaluated in terms of both gross margins and net present value as is reported in the Flinders and Gilbert Catchment Reports (Petheram et al., 2013a and b). On the basis of this, a single development option was selected for each case study for further detailed analysis. Each case study has been evaluated with consideration given to downstream impacts. The case study assessments included an allowance to avoid impacts on the reliability with which existing entitlement holders could extract water. The exception to this is O’Connell creek; for this case study no allowance was made on the basis that it was desired to undertake the most generous assessment possible to determine whether the scheme has any chance of being viable. The initial assessment of each case study did not provide any allowance for environmental flow rules. The proposed method was that potential rules would be evaluated in the event that any of the irrigation developments appear to be viable; no such assessments were deemed to be required. This is because the incorporation of environmental flow rules would have the effect of further reducing the reliability of water supply, making the investment less profitable. The selected development options evaluated for Green Hills and Dagworth resulted in the most reliable systems. O’Connell creek off-stream storage and Cave Hill dam result in the least reliable systems. For the Flinders water harvesting case study, water availability is poor by 1st January but significantly improves by the 1st February. For most sites the full entitlement assigned to the site can be extracted in a high percentage of years for the smallest new entitlement release examined (80GL) however reliability is decreased with increasing new entitlement release. For all of the case studies, river reaches immediately downstream of the irrigation development would experience a moderate impact to median flow (i.e. median streamflow quotient typically between 0.6 and 0.8). None o...


CSIRO


Canberra


source; river modelling; Flinders; Gilbert; Gulf region; northern Australia; hydrology; APSIM; irrigation; hydrological metrics


Agricultural Hydrology (Drainage, Flooding, Irrigation, Quality, etc.); Agricultural Systems Analysis and Modelling; Surfacewater Hydrology


Published Version (pdf) (13.39MB)


https://doi.org/10.4225/08/584d97ff6738e


© Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation 2013. To the extent permitted by law, all rights are reserved and no part of this publication covered by copyright may be reproduced or copied in any form or by any means except with the written permission of CSIRO.


Water for a Healthy Country Flagship Report Series


EP132039


Technical Report (Author)


English


1835095X


Holz, Linda; Kim, Shaun; Petheram, Cuan; Podger, Geoff; Hughes, Justin; Kehoe, Michael; Aramini, Daniel; Podger, Scott; Lerat, Julien; Poulton, Perry; Hornbuckle, John; Perraud, Jean-Michel. River system modelling for the Flinders and Gilbert Agricultural Resource Assessment case study analysis. A technical report to the Australian Government from the CSIRO Flinders and Gilbert Agricultural Resource Assessment, part of the North Queensland Irrigated Agriculture Strategy. Canberra: CSIRO; 2013. csiro:EP132039. https://doi.org/10.4225/08/584d97ff6738e



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