GROUNDWATER STUDIES

Groundwater studies (application of our core hydrogeological expertise) are part of most projects BlueSphere conducts.  Our strength is this field sets us apart at the top end of the markets in which we operate and is often the reason we are selected by well-informed clients.  This expertise is critically important in the assessment and management of contaminated land, groundwater supply and dewatering, catchment management and protection/management of surface water systems/resources. 

Groundwater Resource Evaluation - Wellfield Establishment and Management - BlueSphere personnel have participated in and managed numerous groundwater resource evaluation and extraction projects throughout Australia, often in complex hydrogeological environments within stringent regulatory environments. BlueSphere can:

  •  Assess the potential quality and yield for a potential groundwater supply for a given area prior to any expensive physical investigation
  • Physically investigate an area using geophysics, drilling and aquifer testing to estimate groundwater yield and quality potential including long term sustainable yield.
  • Undertake hydrogeological evaluations (including analytical and numerical modelling) to fulfil permitting requirements and other client risk management requirements.
  • Design, install, test and designate appropriate  pumping infrastructure.
  • Establish and implement monitoring and management protocols and systems to help ensure the efficient and sustainable performance of the well field.

Dewatering – Many excavations (mines/quarries, tunnels, service installation, basements) intersect groundwater and require some sort of management and sometimes permitting.  Similar to groundwater resources evaluation, BlueSphere can provide the basis for permitting by predicting the potential yield and quality of groundwater likely to be intercepted prior to physical works, undertaking physical assessment including aquifer testing to firm up estimated conditions and then designing, installing, testing and maintaining systems to effectively manage groundwater. Often groundwater can be used on a particular project or facility but just as often it requires disposal.  BlueSphere can assist with disposal/reuse options studies to find the most practical and cost effective solution.

Surface Water - Groundwater Interaction Assessments - BlueSphere has strong expertise in the characterisation and assessment of terrestrial groundwater and surface water (including marine  environments), including intertidal pore water, sediment and surface water. BlueSphere’s personnel have a fundamental understanding of the complex hydrodynamics and use of appropriate hydraulic and geochemical characterisation techniques including:

  • Aquifer testing
  • Multilevel intertidal piezometers
  • Seepage meters
  • Collection of hydraulic head time series data linked with tidal cycles
  • Analysis of geochemical tracers including chloride, caffeine and oxygen/deuterium isotopes
  • Water balance modelling

Groundwater Salinity and Catchment Management - BlueSphere has strong expertise in the hydrogeological aspects of land and groundwater salinisation, as well as broader groundwater – surface water studies at the catchment scale, having worked with and delivered projects for relevant government departments and Catchment Management Authorities (CMAs).

Environmental Monitoring and Investigation - BlueSphere has strong expertise in environmental monitoring and investigation projects including monitoring system/program design, drilling and installation of monitoring wells, gauging, sampling and analysis of surface waters and groundwater, completion of aquifer testing (such as pumping tests) and interpretation, including groundwater modelling.  BlueSphere commonly undertakes annual surface water and groundwater monitoring and regulatory reporting for its clients.  BlueSphere continually endeavours to rationalise monitoring programs to ensure that what is monitored is appropriately targeted, defendable and effectively manages risks.  BlueSphere has assisted many clients to substantially reduce their monitoring programs but at the same time substantially improved their effectiveness in reducing risk.  

Strategic Advice and Regulatory Liaison – Often a groundwater supply is one of a number of options for water supply or there are a number of potentially viable permutations or configurations of potential groundwater supplies (i.e. from different aquifers or locations).  BlueSphere can undertake strategic analysis (including formal risk assessment using appropriate Australian standards and/or client tailored systems) of the options to help its clients select the best option(s) for them.  This often includes assessment and sometimes liaison with regulators to help navigate the best way forward.  BlueSphere has highly experienced hydrogeologists who can clearly communicate the issues internally and externally to relax often conservative regulatory requirements helping to ensure the best outcome for your project.