Assessing groundwater dependence of River Oak community

Client Name
New South Wales, Australia
  • Mine water management
  • Hydrogeology


SLR were engaged to characterise the local groundwater regime and provide advice on the likely level of groundwater dependence of River Oak vegetation community within an approved area of future mining.


The study was conducted in an iterative, staged approach that involved collaboration between the client, consultants from multiple disciplines, and a government agency. The groundwater component involved field investigations to understand the local geology and groundwater conditions. Findings from the fieldwork, and the ecological assessment were used to locally update an existing regional scale numerical groundwater model. The purpose of the modelling was to establish whether evapotranspiration was simulated across the study area, indicating likely interaction between vegetation and groundwater. Predictive scenarios identified changes in groundwater levels due to mining that may adversely impact vegetation interacting with the groundwater system.


Based on these findings and collaboration between the various technical disciplines, the level of reliance of River Oak community on alluvial groundwater was assessed. The study also looked into where uncertainty may remain in understanding groundwater reliance over time, and from this a targeted monitoring program was developed to enable ongoing adaptive management.