Chapter

Integrated Groundwater Management

pp 711-737

Open Access This content is freely available online to anyone, anywhere at any time.

Methods for Exploring Uncertainty in Groundwater Management Predictions

  • Joseph H. A. GuillaumeAffiliated withNational Centre for Groundwater Research and Training & Integrated Catchment Assessment and Management (ICAM) Centre, Fenner School of Environment and Society, Australian National UniversityWater & Development Research Group (WDRG), Aalto University Email author 
  • , Randall J. HuntAffiliated withUnited States Geological Survey, Wisconsin Water Science CenterDepartment of Geoscience, University of Wisconsin-Madison
  • , Alessandro ComunianAffiliated withConnected Waters Initiative Research Centre, UNSW AustraliaDipartimento di Scienze della Terra “Ardito Desio”, Università degli Studi di Milano
  • , Rachel S. BlakersAffiliated withNational Centre for Groundwater Research and Training & Integrated Catchment Assessment and Management (ICAM) Centre, Fenner School of Environment and Society, Australian National University
  • , Baihua FuAffiliated withNational Centre for Groundwater Research and Training & Integrated Catchment Assessment and Management (ICAM) Centre, Fenner School of Environment and Society, Australian National University

Abstract

Models of groundwater systems help to integrate knowledge about the natural and human system covering different spatial and temporal scales, often from multiple disciplines, in order to address a range of issues of concern to various stakeholders. A model is simply a tool to express what we think we know. Uncertainty, due to lack of knowledge or natural variability, means that there are always alternative models that may need to be considered. This chapter provides an overview of uncertainty in models and in the definition of a problem to model, highlights approaches to communicating and using predictions of uncertain outcomes and summarises commonly used methods to explore uncertainty in groundwater management predictions. It is intended to raise awareness of how alternative models and hence uncertainty can be explored in order to facilitate the integration of these techniques with groundwater management.