Integrated modelling of spatio-temporal variability in stream water quality across victorian catchments

D. Guo, A. Lintern, J. A. Webb, D. Ryu, S. Liu, A. W. Western

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference PaperOther


Degraded water quality in rivers and streams can have large economical, societal and ecological impacts. Stream water quality can be highly variable both over space and time, so understanding and modelling these spatio-temporal variabilities is critical to developing management and mitigation strategies to improve riverine water quality. However, there is currently limited capacity to model stream water quality due to the lack of understanding of the key factors driving spatio-temporal variability in water quality. To address this, a Bayesian hierarchical statistical model has been developed to describe the spatio-temporal variability in stream water quality across multiple catchments in the state of Victoria, Australia. We used monthly water quality monitoring data collected at 102 sites over 20 years. The modelling focused on three key water quality indicators: total suspended solids (TSS), nitrate-nitrite (NOx) and salinity (EC). It was found that both human-influenced catchment characteristics (land use) and other natural characteristics such as climate or topography are important drivers of spatial variabilities. The key drivers of temporal variability are changes in streamflow, climate and vegetation cover. These key drivers have been integrated into a spatio-temporal modelling framwork. These models can be applied at different spatial and temporal scales, and explain a reasonable proportion of spatio-temporal variation in the different water quality constituents. The extension and adaption of these models is currently underway to create an operational tool to forecast stream water quality responses to potential land use and climatic changes.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publication2018 Hydrology and Water Resources Symposium, HWRS 2018
Subtitle of host publicationWater and Communities
PublisherEngineers Australia
Number of pages14
ISBN (Electronic)9781925627183
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2018
EventHydrology and Water Resources Symposium 2018 - Melbourne , Australia
Duration: 3 Dec 20186 Dec 2018
Conference number: 38th;isbn=9781925627183;res=IELENG (Proceedings)

Publication series

Name2018 Hydrology and Water Resources Symposium, HWRS 2018: Water and Communities


ConferenceHydrology and Water Resources Symposium 2018
Abbreviated titleHWRS 2018
Internet address

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