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Dr Richard Evans

Dr Richard Evans is a Principal Hydrogeologist employed by Sinclair Knight Merz Consultants

In many catchments the water resources found above and below the ground are parts of the same system, linked in a poorly understood and complex manner. Yet access to surface water and groundwater is allocated as if they were independent of each other and without recognition of potential downstream impacts, particularly the effect pumping groundwater can have on stream and river flows.

More practical management of the interaction between surface water and groundwater is needed, as the current situation only has negative consequences for all water users and principally for the environment. The balance between removing groundwater and the long term effect on surface water flows has a very important bearing on water property rights and the politics associated with water allocation in Australia.

Through his extensive hydrological study Dr Richard Evans has identifies three specific issues associated with the stream/aquifer interaction that need investigation.

Firstly, the time lag between the start of groundwater pumping and a measurable stream flow response is not well understood and will vary from place to place and catchment to catchment. The length of this delay is one factor which will influence management options that could be adopted.

Secondly, the base stream flow is influenced by many different parts of the water balance all of which need to be identified and have their relative significance assessed.

Finally, the link between the volume of groundwater pumped and streamflow reductions has not yet been quantified.

I believe I can make a significant contribution to this issue because I have a well established track record of working on this topic and I am not constrained by any particular policy or direction,’ said Dr Evans.

The Land & Water Australia Senior Research Fellowship award allowed Dr Evans to produce a discussion paper on the issue targeted at the Natural Resource Management Standing Committee and at surface and groundwater managers across Australia.

The paper will be based on technical analysis, lessons gleaned from a number of overseas and Australian practical case studies, as well as the outcomes of a workshop looking to develop practical recommendations and management approaches for different environments.

Ultimately Dr Evans hopes to make a key difference in the management of water resources by providing a range of tools and options for a variety of situations, and by building a platform for ongoing education of the community.

Publications and Resources

None listed


Land & Water Australia. 2009. Dr Richard Evans. [Online] (Updated June 25th, 2009)
Available at: [Accessed Thursday 24th of October 2013 12:12:19 AM ].

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id: 3241 / created: 21 April, 2009 / last updated: 25 June, 2009