Gulf Water Study


On 21 September 2015, responsibility for water policy and resources was transferred to the Department of Agriculture and Water Resources - Administrative Arrangement Order made on 21 September 2015.

This website will be updated to reflect these changes.

Roper River Region, Gulf of Carpentaria, NT

Australian Government Funding: $866,000

About the project

The project was implemented to develop scientific tools to help the Northern Territory advance water planning in the Western Gulf region including the Roper River catchment. This is an area where few hydrological studies have been undertaken. Throughout the project, tools including reports, maps, posters, geographic information systems and a spatial photographic database have been developed incorporating local aboriginal knowledge. The information gathered supports the development of a predictive model of river flow based on an understanding of the relationship between rainfall, groundwater levels and river flows. This information will allow the Northern Territory Government to appropriately allocate water in this region for the benefit of all users.

Project benefits

The project has developed tools to enable a better understanding of how to account for environmental water requirements in water allocation planning in the Gulf region and Roper River catchment in the Northern Territory.

The project has implemented a smart approach to understanding how to account for environmental water requirements. This was achieved through:

  • broadscale mapping of both surface water and groundwater resources showing their connectivity, and,
  • developing a model for the entire Roper River catchment through the use of cutting edge software which integrates surface water and groundwater models to eliminate the issues of surface-groundwater connectivity and 'double accounting'.


The findings of the project, completed in late 2010, are presented in the final reports:

  • Integrated Surface - Groundwater Model of the Roper River Catchment - Part A: Coupled Surface - Groundwater Model
  • Integrated Surface - Groundwater Model of the Roper River Catchment - Part B: MIKE11 Surface Water Model
  • Integrated Surface - Groundwater Model of the Roper River Catchment - Part C: FEFLOW Groundwater Model
  • Dunmarra and Hodgson River Region
  • Limmen Bight and McArthur Rivers Region
  • Robinson and Calvert Rivers Region
  • Roper River Region