MSE Research Project Database

Predicting water quality at the catchment scale


Project Leader: Andrew Western
Staff: Andrew Western, Angus Webb, Dongryeol Ryu, Anna Lintern
Student: Shuci Liu
Collaborators: Paul Leahy (EPA Victoria), Paul Wilson (DELWP, Victoria), David Waters (Queensland NRM), Ulrike Bende-Michl (Bureau of Meteorology), Malcolm Watson (Bureau of Meteorology)
Sponsors: Australian Research Council, Department of Land Environment Water and Planning, Bureau of Meteorology, Queensland Natural Resources and Mines
Primary Contact: Andrew Western (a.western@unimelb.edu.au)
Keywords: environmental hydrology and water resources; hydrology; water quality; water resources
Disciplines: Infrastructure Engineering
Domains: Optimisation of resources and infrastructure

Poor water quality affects many rivers and receiving waters, such as the Great Barrier Reef and Gippsland Lakes. This project uses Bayesian hierarchical models of state-wide water quality data to quantify the effects of a range of factors on stream water quality (nutrients, sediments, salinity) including climate, land-use, river flow and vegetation. This analysis will extract information from the entire data set rather than concentrating on individual sites. It will underpin a new predictive capacity including response to land use and management changes and climatic variations based on long-term data sets, as well as a water quality prediction capability.