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Publication Date

June 2014


Nara Somaratne1 *, Jeff Lawson 2, Glyn Ashman 1, Kien Nguyen 3 1South Australian Water Corporation, Adelaide, Australia 2Department of Environment, Water and Natural Resources, Mount Gambier, Australia 3Hydraulic Works and Management Division, Directorate of Water Resources, Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, Hanoi, Vietnam Email: * Abstract: Blue Lake, a volcanic crater provides municipal water supply to the city of Mount Gambier, population of 26,000. Current average annual pumping from the lake is 3.6 × 106 m 3. The lake is fed by karstic unconfined Gambier Limestone aquifer. Storm water of the city discharges to the aquifer via about 400 drainage wells and three large sinkholes. Average annual storm water discharge is estimated at approximately 6.6 × 106 m 3through drainage wells and sinkholes within 16.8 km2 of the central part of the city. Chemical mass balance for calcium was used to estimate groundwater inflow to the lake at 6.3 × 106 m 3, almost equal to the volume of storm water discharge and slightly higher than the previous estimates using environmental isotopes (4.8 - 6.0 × 106 m 3). Considering the lake outflow volume of 2.7 × 106 m 3, the net inflow to the lake equates to the current annual pumping and therefore it is considered that the current pumping rate is at the upper limit. For meeting the short-term future demand, confined aquifer water may be used and in the longer-term, an additional well field is required outside the Blue Lake capture zone, preferably to the north-east of the city. For water supply security, inflow to the lake along with water quality has to be maintained within the city. Current annual private abstraction within the capture zone is about 4.4 × 106 m 3and in order to maintain aquifer water levels, no additional allocation should be allowed. Keywords: Blue Lake, Recharge, Water Security Planning, Groundwater, Water Resource Management Copyright (c) 2014 by authors and Scientific Research Publishing Inc. This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution International License (CC BY). Open Access See Extended description for more information.