Aqualinc: Agile, Adaptive Water Allocation

Aqualinc's research team

The research will simulate the effects of climate and water allocation approaches on water demand, surface-water flows and ground water levels in representative case-study areas, then iteratively re-design and test potential water allocation policies to achieve the level of policy agility required to successfully adapt to climate change. Photo: Aqualinc.

Aqualinc Research, an independent provider of research-based consulting services for water and land management, is undertaking a new project “Agile, Adaptive Water Allocation Policy” to investigate water allocation methods that enable timely adaptation to climate change, with a low transition cost, while delivering a 'values-balance'. The project is one of two by the research company in the 2020 funding round of the Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI)’s Sustainable Land Management and Climate Change (SLMACC) programme.

Partnering with NIWA and Environment Canterbury, scientists at Aqualinc will use existing climate projections with new modelling of river flows, irrigation demand, drainage fluxes, groundwater levels, and lowland stream flows in Central Canterbury to improve understanding of the effects of climate change on flow regimes and water levels.

From here, they will iteratively re-design and test potential water allocation policies, using an existing #MODFLOW integrated groundwater surface water model, to achieve the level of policy agility required to successfully adapt to climate change. This will include addressing the unsolved problem of how to manage groundwater takes so that the depletion effect they have on connected surface water bodies does not cause surface-water allocation limits to be exceeded.

Aqualinc other successful project in MPI's 2020 funding round is "N-Wise irrigation field testing". The project will quantify the effectiveness of N-Wise irrigation management strategies for reducing nitrate leaching and maintaining pasture production under realistic conditions of water supply uncertainty. Aqualinc will field test the performance of N-Wise irrigation strategies on a commercial dairy farm and communicate the “what, how, and why” to Canterbury dairy farmers.

More information

Find out more about projects at Aqualinc.

Date posted: 14 August 2020

Facebook Feed