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Discussions with Regulators

Between November 2021 and March 2022, GMDSI hosted a series of web meetings with Commonwealth, state and territory regulators; a meeting was also held with the IESC. The meetings were chaired by Peter Baker of Office of Water Science; Christina Fawns (also of Office of Water Science) helped with administrative and secretarial tasks. Representing GMDSI were Catherine Moore, Craig Simmons and John Doherty.

In all, nine meetings were held. Over 80 regulatory and related personnel attended these meetings. Discussions were candid, and passionate at times. GMDSI wishes to express its deep gratitude to all who shared their perspectives with us. We learned a lot.

GMDSI was particularly interested in the role that groundwater modelling plays in project approval and oversight. Regulators spoke frankly about this. They informed us of what was working, and what was in need of improvement. They spoke about what they could do better, what proponents could do better, and what current modelling guidelines could do better. Some issues differed between jurisdictions; other issues were common to all.

GMDSI has prepared a report on these meetings. You can download it from here.

The report addresses fourteen themes that were raised repeatedly during the meetings. A different section of the report is devoted to each theme. Each section is divided into two parts. The first part presents attendees’ viewpoints on the theme. The second part presents GMDSI’s perspective; this is intended to be a scientific perspective, with no value judgement implied other than a commitment to the scientific method.

You can have your say too. If you have any comments on the report, or on the subject of groundwater model-usage in regulatory oversight in general, then we invite you to make them below.

In order to continue public discussion on this issue, GMDSI hosted a webinar on this subject. A report of this webinar will be available soon.