PhD scholarship for uncertainty quantification associated with hydrogeological systems via AGU

The University of Western Australia

Perth, WA, AU

This project will focus on addressing the trade-off often observed between the demand for drinking water and the need to maintain groundwater-dependent ecosystems, a delicate balance plagued by uncertainty and jeopardized by climate change.

Our success with managing complex hydrogeological systems is predicated on our ability to make reliable predictions about future system behaviour. A well-accepted method for making such predictions is through integrated hydrogeological modelling. 

Various entities, including the water utility and the state government of Western Australia, rely on model predictions to support important groundwater management decisions, such as allocation planning. However, to date, decisions are too often made with a single deterministic model simulation, ignoring the impacts of uncertainty associated with hydrologic properties and fluxes. This approach runs the risk of making poor decisions with adverse impacts on both our water supply and the environment. 

This project will focus on new technologies for hydrogeologic modelling and uncertainty quantification in an effort to improve water security in Western Australia and beyond. Successful applicants will not only have the opportunity to work closely with the Department of Water and Environmental Regulation and the Water Corporation of Western Australia, but also the opportunity to work with scientists abroad.

As part of this project the successful PhD applicant will:

  • Use state-of-art software (e.g., PEST++, FloPy, etc.) and high-performance supercomputers to address both conceptual and predictive uncertainty in hydrogeological systems
  • Develop new technologies and workflows for model development using GIS platforms
  • Address the representation of complex structures in hydrogeologic models including, pinched-out aquifers, groundwater recharge mechanisms, etc.