For mining operations that have resources below the water table, it is common to abstract groundwater so that mining can proceed. However, falling water levels may impact the health of groundwater dependent vegetation.
To assist with managing potential cumulative impacts of multiple drawdown bores and to better differentiate plant health decline from man-made and natural causes, Astron developed a statistical model of groundwater drawdown that related a time series of remotely sensed indices of vegetation response when abstraction bores and discharge sites were turned on or off. This model accounts for both the cumulative effect of multiple nearby bores on neighbouring vegetation, and decomposes the remotely sensed vegetation response into climatic, spatial and borefield/discharge components.
Such a model has application to predicting future outcomes for riparian vegetation condition under alternative management and climate scenarios and to optimally manage an array of bores that aim to both minimise vegetation impacts while supporting mining operations.