Peer Review Hinds Plains

Peer Review of Integrated Groundwater / Surface Water Model of Hinds Plains, New Zealand

Interflow recently completed an in-depth peer review of a comprehensive integrated groundwater / surface water model for an environmental regulatory agency in New Zealand.  The 2500 square kilometer study area includes the watershed of the Hinds River and portions of the neighboring Rangitata and Ashburton Rivers in the alluvial Hinds Plain. Freshwater resources in the watershed have undergone significant stresses as a result of agricultural development, primarily dairy farming.

The MIKE SHE / MIKE-11 model will be used to support decisions on limiting withdrawals for irrigation.  It was therefore important for the model to simulate future demand scenarios that have potential to cause environmental flows and levels to fall below various thresholds.

Some of the technically challenging aspects of this modeling project include representing complex demand-based irrigation schemes having surface water and groundwater sources, streams with both gaining and losing reaches connected to a surficial aquifer with high degrees of horizontal anisotropy and heterogeneity, and a riparian zone characterized by numerous seeps and springs.


Client: Environment Canterbury, New Zealand

Month/Year Initiated:   June 2013

Month/Year Completed: August 2013

Services Provided:

  • Integrated Groundwater / Surface Water Modeling
  • Environmental Flows and Levels
  • Peer Review