This scoping study aimed to identify the research knowledge gaps within 'Water Allocation Planning and Water Quality Improvement' Programme’s research projects that would improve the current water allocation planning process. Four major research themes were identified as requiring investment in order to improve water allocation planning in the Mt Lofty Ranges, South Australia. These research themes were:
The project reviewed and evaluated components of the WAP framework including the establishment of relationships between hydrology and ecological expression, a process to determine the effectiveness of returning low flows for environmental watering, and the notion of a library of metrics to support future WAPs across the state. It also assessed surface water-groundwater interaction models that may help in the WAP process in SA. Finally it explored opportunities for new areas of research such as hydro-economic modelling (i.e. transparently balancing social, economic and environmental needs for water).
Research and policy staff within this project reviewed then prioritised research needed to refine a decision support framework for developing water allocation plans (WAPs) in South Australia.