Groundwater Modelling Decision Support Initiative (GMDSI) is industry-funded and industry-aligned. Established in mid-2019, it aims to improve the contribution that groundwater modelling can make to groundwater management, regulation and decision making.

Numerical simulation of groundwater movement and processes is the cornerstone of its management. Data are often scarce and simulator forecasts are therefore uncertain. Nevertheless, decisions must be made, and risks must be assessed. Modelling is pivotal to assessing these risks.

As stated in its modelling manifesto, GMDSI recognises the important role played by model partner software. These are computer programs that work with simulators to:

  • estimate their parameters
  • explore the uncertainties of their predictions
  • track the flow of information from data to parameters to forecasts
  • optimise decision outcomes
  • optimise investments in future data acquisition.

GMDSI’s mission is to promote, facilitate and support the improved use of modelling in decision support. Its activities fall into five themes:

  • industry engagement
  • education
  • worked examples
  • research
  • software.

Steering committee

Chairperson: Blair Douglas, BHP


  • Keith Brown (Rio Tinto)
  • Wendy Timms (Deakin University)
  • Liz Webb (EMM Consulting)
  • Peter Baker (Department of Environment and Energy)
  • Ty Ferre (University of Arizona)
  • Randy Hunt (United States Geological Survey).


GMDSI is based at the National Centre for Groundwater Research and Training (NCGRT) and managed by:

  • Craig Simmons (National Centre for Groundwater Research and Training)
  • John Doherty (Watermark Numerical Computing)
  • Phil Hayes (University of Queensland)
  • Catherine Moore (GNS, New Zealand)
  • Rui Hugman (Flinders University)
  • Fiona Adamson (Flinders University).

GMDSI contracts other specialists as needed.

National and international collaborators

GMDSI personnel regularly collaborate with university and industry colleagues in New Zealand, Europe and the Americas.

Funding Bodies