The department uses a range of modelling techniques to understand how our river and groundwater systems behave. Models help predict what will happen in a variety of scenarios, including those that test water sharing, compliance, changing climate impacts, and other factors that affect water availability.

The complexity of modelling approaches can vary from very simple conceptual models through to very detailed and data rich approaches. Models can be applied at scales varying from very small scale specific sites or study levels, through to regional scales. The utility of any of these models is constrained by basic limitations in our knowledge and the availability of data to build the model. Models cannot generate knowledge; they only combine what we know into useful forms.

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    Surface & groundwater models overview

    Surface water modelling directly informs water sharing and management planning.

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    River system modelling

    We developed and continue to maintain and use models to understand and assess the behaviour of a series of river systems in NSW.

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    Groundwater modelling

    The department uses computer-based models to better understand groundwater flow systems and aquifer behaviour to predict the effects of groundwater use.

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    Salinity models

    Modelling is used to fill information gaps where data is limited or to add value to data by combining it in ways that represent processes that are otherwise not directly mappable,