Environmental Systems Applications

Water Resources

Water Resources, Water Supply and Hydrological Modeling

Water Resources

Water resources, water supply and hydrological modeling projects typically involve simulating systems made up of many component parts that are interrelated, and in some cases, poorly characterized. In most situations, the hydrological system is driven by stochastic variables (i.e., precipitation, evaporation, demand) and involves uncertain processes, parameters, and events.

GoldSim provides a powerful and visual way to address integrated water resource management problems. GoldSim models consist of high-level elements that are automatically connected in an influence diagram, making calculations more transparent to reviewers and colleagues. In addition, GoldSim has powerful probabilistic simulation capabilities for representing the inherently uncertain and stochastic nature of all real-world systems.

Influence Diagram

GoldSim allows for seamless integration with other tools, such as databases and MS Excel spreadsheets. You can also integrate your GoldSim model directly with external codes such as EPA SWMM or Modflow. GoldSim also provides a specialized set of tools that allow you to create custom designed interfaces, or “dashboards” for your models to make the models accessible to non-technical users.

By combining the power and flexibility of a general-purpose and highly-graphical probabilistic simulation framework with specialized modules to support water quality modeling and reliability analysis (e.g., of pumps and other equipment). GoldSim allows you to create realistic models of water supply, water resource, and hydrological systems in order to carry out risk analyses, evaluate potential environmental impacts, support strategic planning, and make better resource management decisions.

GoldSim is used by a large number of engineering consulting firms and water resource organizations worldwide to support water resource management applications.



White Papers

Technical Papers

  • Water Production Tool for Coal Seam Gas

    Enhancement of the Coal Seam Gas Water Production Tool, Deliverable 4: Addendum to Technical Report – March 2013

    Greg Keir, Lucy Reading, Sue Vink

    A water production tool was developed by Klohn Crippen Berger using GoldSim to predict the potential volumes of water extracted by the coal seam gas industry within the Bowen and Surat Basins in Queensland over the next 50 years.


  • Vulnerability Assessment to Support Integrated Water Resources Management of Metropolitan Water Supply Systems

    Journal of Water Resources Planning and Management, DOI: 10.1061/(ASCE)WR.1943-5452.0000738. © 2016 American Society of Civil Engineers – November 2016

    Erfan Goharian, Steven J. Burian, Jason Lillywhite, and Ryan Hile

    The combined actions of natural and human factors change the timing and availability of water resources and, correspondingly, water demand in metropolitan areas. This leads to an imbalance between supply and demand resulting in increased vulnerability of water supply systems. Accordingly, methods for systematic analysis and multifactor assessment are needed to estimate the vulnerability of individual components in an integrated water supply system. This paper introduces a new approach to comprehensively assess vulnerability by integrating water resource system characteristics with factors representing exposure, sensitivity, severity, potential severity, social vulnerability, and adaptive capacity. The effectiveness and advantages of the proposed approach are checked using an investigation of the water supply system of Salt Lake City (SLC), Utah. First, an integrated water resource model was developed using GoldSim to allocate water from different sources in SLC among designated demand points. The model contains individual simulation modules with representative interconnections among the natural hydroclimate system, built water infrastructure, and institutional decision making. The results of the analysis illustrate that basing vulnerability on a sole factor may lead to insufficient understanding and, hence, inefficient management of the system. The new vulnerability index and assessment approach was able to identify the most vulnerable water sources in the SLC integrated water supply system. In conclusion, use of a more comprehensive approach to simulate the system behavior and estimate vulnerability provides more guidance for decision makers to detect vulnerable components of the system and ameliorate decision making.


  • A probabilistic framework for comparison of dam breach parameters and outflow hydrograph generated by different empirical prediction methods

    Journal of Environmental Modelling and Software, Vol. 86, Pgs. 248–263, 1364-8152/© 2016 Elsevier Ltd. – December 2016

    Ebrahim Ahmadisharaf, Alfred J. Kalyanapu, Brantley A. Thames, Jason Lillywhite

    This study presents a probabilistic framework to simulate a dam breach and evaluates the impact of using four empirical dam breach prediction methods on breach parameters (i.e., geometry and timing) and outflow hydrograph attributes (i.e., time to peak, hydrograph duration and peak). Mean values and percentiles of breach parameters and outflow hydrograph attributes are compared for hypothetical overtopping failure of Burnett Dam in the state of North Carolina, USA. Furthermore, utilizing the probabilistic framework of GoldSim, the least and most uncertain methods alongside those giving the most critical value are identified for these parameters. The multivariate analysis also indicates that lone use of breach parameters is not necessarily sufficient to characterize outflow hydrograph attributes. However, timing characteristic of the breach is generally a more important driver than its geometric features.


  • Upper Lefroy Community Dam Scenario and Optimisation Modelling

    Verterra Ecological Engineering Projects Showcase – 2015

    Verterra Ecological Engineering

    The Department of Water Western Australia required a means to investigate, assess and recommend the most viable option for a local water supply scheme incorporating community dams and associated infrastructure. To meet the their requirements, Verterra constructed a Goldsim model to illustrate expected grower behaviour and likely cost of water from a range of 1-2 GL community dam options. GoldSim is dynamic probabilistic software model which can be used to develop a water management framework and methodology for integrating different components of water infrastructure while accounting for natural variability in rainfall and streamflow. This probabilistic modelling approach enabled a risk analysis to be incorporated into the evaluation of potential environmental and economic impacts. The scenario testing and optimisation model developed by Verterra allowed the client to undertake preliminary exploration of the effect of a range of different configurations and usage behaviours of the proposed community dam system, and to explore the reliability and cost of water.


  • Incorporating Potential Severity into Vulnerability Assessment of Water Supply Systems under Climate Change Conditions

    Journal of Water Resources Planning and Management, 2015DOI: 10.1061/ (ASCE)WR.1943-5452.0000579. © 2015 American Society of Civil Engineers. – November 2015

    Erfan Goharian, S.M.ASCE; Steven J. Burian, M.ASCE; Courtenay Strong with Univ. of Utah; Tim Bardsley with Western Water Assessment

    In response to climate change, vulnerability assessment of water resources systems is typically performed based on quantifying the severity of the failure. This paper introduces an approach to assess vulnerability that incorporates a set of new factors. The method is demonstrated with a case study of a reservoir system in Salt Lake City using an integrated modeling framework composed of a hydrologic model and a systems model driven by temperature and precipitation data for a 30-year historical (1981–2010) period. The climate of the selected future (2036–2065) simulation periods were represented by five combinations of warm or hot, wet or dry, and central tendency projections derived from the World Climate Research Programme's (WCRP's) Coupled Model Intercomparison Project Phase 5. The results of the analysis illustrate that basing vulnerability on severity alone may lead to an incorrect quantification of the system vulnerability. In this study, a typical vulnerability metric (severity) incorrectly provides low magnitudes under the projected future warm-wet climate condition. The proposed new metric correctly indicates the vulnerability to be high because it accounts for additional factors. To further explore the new factors, a sensitivity analysis (SA) was performed to show the impact and importance of the factors on the vulnerability of the system under different climate conditions. The new metric provides a comprehensive representation of system vulnerability under climate change scenarios, which can help decision makers and stakeholders evaluate system operation and infrastructure changes for climate adaptation.


  • Simulation Model of Pumped Hydroelectric Power Plant

    Acta Electrotechnica et Informatica, Vol. 15, No. 2, 2015, 57–61, DOI: 10.15546/aeei-2015-0019 – 2015

    Miroslav Mikita, Michael Kolcun; Department of Electric Power Engineering, Faculty of Electrical Engineering and Informatics, Technical University of Kosice, Letna 9, 042 00 Kosice, Slovak Republic

    The Pumped hydroelectric power plants are very suitable way to avoid the unpredictable imbalance in power generation, but its construction is very expensive and reliability is very long-term. Every single pumped hydroelectric power plant is like rechargeable battery which can generate electricity when there is a deficiency in power generation and also can consume when there is conversely reserve on power generation. That's the main reason why is important to build such sources of energy. When you create new project of every power plant that prediction of it's performance is highly important and simulation software is useful in this cases. For good prediction is also important true data in simulation and knowledge about locality of this project, because every project varies from other similar projects. For obtaining optimal conditions of using pumped hydroelectric power plant is needed to find best algorithm of generating or consuming the electricity. GoldSim was used to develop this pumped storage model.


  • Evaluating the Impacts of Environmental Flow Alternatives on Reservoir and Recreational Operations Using System Dynamics Modeling

    Journal of The American Water Resources Association, Volume 51, Issue 1, pages 33-46 – February 2015

    Ryan R. Morrison Postdoctoral Fellow and Mark C. Stone Assistant Professor

    Providing environmental flows is increasingly a management obligation in many water resource systems. Evaluating the impacts of environmental flow alternatives on other water uses in a basin can be a challenge, especially when collaborating with stakeholders. GoldSim was used to construct and perform system dynamics simulation to assess the impacts of four environmental flow alternatives in the Rio Chama, New Mexico. Compared to other system dynamics modeling software, GoldSim provided the unique capability of allowing model variables to be sampled using Monte Carlo sampling. The model was developed to examine impacts of each alternative on reservoir storage and releases, hydropower production and revenue, and whitewater boating access. Results from the model indicate that the proposed flow recommendations on the Rio Chama will generally decrease annual reservoir storage, increase median flows, and have minimal impacts on hydropower production and whitewater rafting on the system. The Rio Chama case study is a promising example of how SD modeling can be used in the early stages of environmental flow studies and why it is compatible with collaborative modeling.


  • Poverty Bay Groundwater Management: MAR Feasibility Assessment and GoldSim Groundwater Management Tool (Stage 1B)

    Report Submitted to Gisborne District Council, New Zealand – August 2014

    Golder Associates

    The Gisborne District Council (GDC) has identified long term water availability in the Poverty Bay area as being a potentially limiting factor in future regional development. A substantial proportion of the water used for irrigation across the Poverty Bay Flats is derived from groundwater. Reviews of groundwater levels in the Poverty Bay Flats area have identified declining groundwater pressure trends as an environmental and water supply issue. These trends are linked to increasing groundwater abstraction for irrigation purposes.

    Golder GW Management Plan

    The GDC is investigating water management options to stabilize groundwater pressure trends and increase water supply reliability in the Poverty Bay area. One option under investigation is the use of Managed Aquifer Recharge (MAR), to replenish and sustain groundwater yields from aquifers beneath the Poverty Bay Flats. Golder Associates (NZ) Limited (Golder) was commissioned by GDC to undertake a feasibility assessment for a MAR program.

    The MAR feasibility assessment carried out by Golder included an evaluation of the challenges and needs for Poverty Bay water management, including source water options, direct injection and surface infiltration options and water quality management requirements.

    A Groundwater Management Tool (GMT), incorporating a calibrated water balance model for the Makauri Aquifer, has been developed to a demonstration stage for the GDC using the Goldsim software package. The GMT is intended to support the GDC in assessing options for the management and replenishment of the Poverty Bay Flats groundwater supplies, within the framework of water management planning for the region.

    Golder's feasibility analysis shows a groundwater replenishment scheme has the potential to:

    • Stabilise current downward trends in groundwater levels within the Makauri Aquifer
    • Restore groundwater pressures within the aquifer
    • Enable the establishment of a sustainable yield for the aquifer that exceeds current usage

    In summary, Managed Aquifer Recharge (MAR) has the potential to replenish and support sustainable groundwater yields from aquifers beneath the Poverty Bay Flats. The results from a risk-benefits analysis indicate that the further Stage II analysis, design and costing for a pilot injection MAR site is recommended.


  • Managing Complex Water Resource Systems for Ecological Integrity: Evaluating Tradeoffs and Uncertainty

    Master's Thesis, University of Mexico – May 2014

    Ryan Richard Morrison

    This is a masters thesis describing the methodology used to develop a probabilistic, dynamic simulation model that evaluates the impacts of environmental flow alternatives. These alternatives implement various water use schemes in the Rio Chama basin in New Mexico. This work evaluates the influence of various flows on cottonwood recruitment, reservoir storage, hydropower production, and whitewater boating. This project used multiple tools with GoldSim's role focusing on the probabilistic and dynamic simulation of the hydroclimatic uncertainties related to management operations in the water system.


  • Using GoldSim for Joint Probability Assessment of Closure Times on Linear Infrastructure

    Visions to Realities - Stormwater Queensland Conference proceedings, Noosa – June 2014

    E. Symons, C. Gimber, Kellogg Brown and Root Pty Ltd

    Flooding of major regional roads and rail corridors severely disrupts transport operations including the export of mined minerals from central and north Queensland which contribute heavily to the Australian economy. It is important for proponents developing new infrastructure and operators of existing infrastructure to understand annual closure times resulting from flooding. Long linkages of road or rail that cross a number of catchment basins and a large number of drainage lines can be difficult to assess due to spatial variation, moving storms and concurrent storms. The objective of this paper is to create a simple methodology, using joint probability, to quantitatively assess the closure time along linear infrastructure. For this paper, GoldSim was used to represent the road or rail system.


  • Probabilistic Simulation of Large Dam Operations for Water Supply and Flood Control

    Australian National Committee on Large Dams (ANCOLD) Conference – 2014

    A flood operations model was built using GoldSim to facilitate 3 different studies to help better understand and fine tune operations of a large dam used for water supply and flood control. GoldSim was used to probabilistically simulate thousands of flood scenarios, which made it possible to compare different operating schemes under many possible conditions. The approach was found to be valuable to understand the capacity of the dams to mitigate floods while protecting water supplies. The studies identified shortcomings in the conventional design event approach to flood estimation. A broader range of stochastic floods provided an advantage to better assess flood mitigation performance and extreme floods, which is important for dam safety. Papers describing these studies were presented at the Australian National Committee on Large Dams (ANCOLD) conference in 2014



  • Probabilistic Analysis to Evaluate the Effects of Dam Breach Methodologies on Downstream Flood Hazard

    World Environment and Water Resources Congress Conference Proceeding Paper – June 2014

    Alfred Kalyanapu, Ebrahim Ahmadisharaf, Brantley A. Thames, Tennessee Tech University and Jason Lillywhite with GoldSim Technology Group

    The objective of this study is to perform a probabilistic dam breach analysis and evaluate impacts of using four different dam breach methods on downstream flood hazards in Swannanoa River watershed.

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  • Integrated Urban Water Resources Modeling in a Semi-Arid Mountainous Region Using a Cyber-Infrastructure Framework

    11th International Conference on Hydroinformatics Conference Proceeding Paper – August 2014

    Erfan Goharian, Steve J. Burian, University of Utah

    A GoldSim model was used to facilitate an integrated water resources management approach to deal with challenges related to increasing water demand, uncertain future climate variability, and conflicts related to water rights and access to water supplies. The GoldSim model was integrated with a web-based user interface to better facilitate stakeholder engagement and k-12 outreach and education activities.


  • Modeling Integration Package - Linking SWMM to GoldSim

    Research Project Report, University of Utah – 2014

    Chris York, Seteven Switzer, Travis Christensen, Jeff Huber, and Stephen Daras, University of Utah

    A need to link SWMM (Storm Water Management Model) and GoldSim together was identified in the Urban Water Research Group at the University of Utah. This is an effort to link model results together to answer a greater number of research questions and enhance modelling results by using multiple software programs. The most efficient way to link SWMM and GoldSim was determined to be through a central database. Once model results were stored in the database, the values could then be shared with both programs. Additional analysis was performed using R and model results were shared via HydroServer.


  • Colorado River Planning and Modeling

    Online Presentation, ASU Decision Center – 2013

    Mohammed Mahmoud, Central Arizona Project

    This presentation is a summary of Central Arizona Project's "On-River Model", which was built in GoldSim to analyze system capacity in response to seasonal variations in demand, canal and reservoir operation rules, and optimization of power consumption.


  • Stormwater Harvesting Model

    Improving an Urban Creek by Taking Away the Water – July 2014

    A Tipene, Parsons Brinckerhoff

    A sustainable stormwater harvesting project was evaluated to determine the ecological and water quality impact in a watershed located in New South Wales, Australia. GoldSim was used to simulate the operation of the proposed stormwater harvesting scheme. The model includes flow diversion structures, a harvest pool and complex behavior logic for the pumps and associated storage facilities.


  • The Impact of Climate Change on a Mine Water Source

    International Mine Water Association Annual Conference – October 2012

    Conor O'Hara, Jaco Grobler, Greg Hookey, Jan Vermaak, Golder Associates Pty Ltd

    GoldSim was used to simulate watershed runoff using stochastic rainfall (Markov chain) data and the application of climate change projections. The modeling approach resulted in the estimation of 30-yr flow series that reflected prevailing rainfall trends with the ability to consider the predicted climate change. Using GoldSim's optimization tool, random watershed parameters were generated to produce alternative simulated flow series for the planning horizon.


  • Development of a Computer Model to Optimize Recharge Performance

    Greg Woodside and Marsha Westropp, Orange County Water District

    In 2009, the Orange County Water District completed development of a Recharge Facilities Model (RFM). This model was developed with the assistance of CH2M HILL and is based on GoldSim to simulate groundwater recharge operations for the District's 1,100 acres of surface recharge facilities. The model was developed as water resources planning tool to estimate the total water percolated through the spreading basins and to evaluate system performance under different future inflow scenarios and different system configurations.The excellent fit between the historical recharge and modeled recharge showed that the model was well calibrated and could be used to predict recharge under a variety of conditions. Results from this model were used in a 2015 update to the District's Draft Groundwater Management Plan.



  • Decision Support System for Optimizing Reservoir Operations Using Ensemble Streamflow Predictions

    J. Water Resour. Plng. and Mgmt. Volume 137, Issue 1, pp. 72-82 – January/February 2011

    Eset T. Alemu, Richard N. Palmer, Austin Polebitski, and Bruce Meaker

    This paper discusses a GoldSim reservoir operations model that was developed for a public utility district in Washington, USA. This link takes you to the abstract and lets you download the full paper.

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  • Impacts of Future Climate Conditions and Forecasted Population Growth on Water Supply Systems in the Puget Sound Region

    Journal of Water Resources Planning and Management – July 2011

    Lee Traynham, Richard Palmer, and Austin Polebitski

    Regional water supply models were developed using GoldSim to predict the impacts to water supply systems in Seattle, Everett, Tacoma, and Bellevue, Washington. This research explored the ability of regional water supply systems to meet future water demands given rising populations and climate change. Three sets of climate impacted streamflows were created for future years 2025, 2050, and 2075 using three General Circulation Models and two emission scenarios. The performance of each water supply system was characterized by firm yield and reliability metrics.

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  • Glenn-Colusa Irrigation District Water Balance Model: A Foundational Component of a District Resource Management Plan

    USCID Water Management Conference Proceeding – March 2010

    Thaddeus Bettner, Grant Davids, Davids Engineering

    Glenn-Colusa Irrigation District (GCID) developed a Resources Plan (Plan) to establish improved policies and decision making processes to better and more actively manage its available water supplies. GoldSim was used to simulate the water balance, which will help improve the District's data management and reporting systems and to better analyze historic and possible future water supplies and demands.


  • Climate Change Impacts on Water Management in the Puget Sound Region, Washington State, USA

    Earth and Environmental Science, Climate Change – September 2010

    Julie A. Vano, Nathalie Voisin, Lan Cuo, Alan F. Hamlet, Marketa McGuire Elsner, Richard N. Palmer, Austin Polebitski and Dennis P. Lettenmaier

    GoldSim was used to build 3 water resources models to see how different systems in the Puget Sound area might perform under various climate change scenarios over the next century. Changes in future water demands were also considered. Streamflow was simulated using the distributed hydrology-soil-vegetation model, driven by downscaled ensembles of climate simulations archived from the 2007 IPCC Fourth Assessment Report. These streamflows were used as input to the water resources models. The models predicted that the water systems should remain reliable under changing climate conditions but if demand increases then the reliability significantly declines.

    Preview Paper

  • Integrated Management of a Finite Water Supply in the Desert

    ASCE Conference Proceeding Paper – May 2009

    Daniel Wendell, Steve Shultz, and Aditya Tyagi, CH2MHILL

    A GoldSim model was used to help determine how to maximize the "lifespan" of local water supplies, minimize costs, and avoid adverse impacts at an army base near the Mojave Desert, California. To meet the needs of this project, the entire water cycle of the area was evaluated in an integrated and quantitative manner, including: modeling local groundwater supplies; evaluating potential development of remote water supplies and associated costs; conducting an end-use water demand and conservation analysis; developing a recycled water irrigation program; implementing an indirect wastewater reuse (i.e., recharge) program; developing an operations program designed to mitigate adverse impacts such as land subsidence; and assessing cost, power consumption, and greenhouse gas emissions from the various alternatives.

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  • Performance of Water Supply Operations Measured by Reliability and Marginal Cost

    Master's Thesis, University of Utah – May 2008

    Jason Lillywhite, University of Utah

    This study uses GoldSim to apply a concept of combining marginal cost and reliability in an operational water supply model. Reliability and efficiency can significantly impact performance of producing and delivering water. Rapid population growth, climate change, extended droughts, and increasing public scrutiny are all reasons why it is becoming more important for water supply planners to develop strategies that provide reliable and cost-efficient solutions to the public. This model uses an approach of assessing reliability of water supply and marginal costs by incorporating both supply and demand-side management options. Risk-based reliability of the system is estimated as a function of shortages in flow rate and system storage volumes. The new approach is applied to a water supply planning model for the Washington County Water Conservancy District, a regional water wholesaler located in St. George, Utah. The results of this study show that increased operational efficiencies can be found while maintaining higher reliability in the system. The results also show that this approach can provide better insight into timing of large future supply acquisitions.


  • Water Supply Modeling for the North Bowen Coal Basin (Queensland)

    Proceedings of the 2006 Water in Mining Conference – 2006

    Shaun Davidge, Aditya Jha and Russell Merz, Golder Associates

    This paper describes a project which used GoldSim to evaluate infrastructure improvements for a water supply in Queensland, Australia.

    Preview Paper

  • Using Dynamic System Models for Water Use Accountability and Planning in Georgia

    Proceedings of the 2005 Georgia Water Resources Conference, Athens, GA – April 2005

    Joe Volpe and Charlie Voss, Golder Associates

    This paper describes how dynamic simulation models can be used to make water use planning more quantitative.


  • The CO2-PENS Water Treatment Model: Evaluation of Cost Profiles and Importance Scenarios for Brackish Water Extracted During Carbon Storage.

    Journal article, Energy Procedia 63, 7205–7214 – 2014

    Sullivan Graham, E.Ja, Chu, S., Pawar, R.J., Stauffer, P.H. with Los Alamos National Laboratory

    Extraction of in-situ water is one of the options for minimizing the impact of large-scale CO2 injection in saline aquifers or during enhanced oil recovery (EOR). The amount of water to be produced could be significant depending on in-situ conditions and injection parameters. Evaluating the costs of treatment is complex, as the quality of the water may vary considerably from treatments based on well-known seawater chemistry, including reverse osmosis. We evaluated a brackish-salinity water to be extracted from a future CO2 injection and storage location in eastern China for prototype treatment costs for both cooling water and boiler water final treatment goals. Costs for treatment of the water, excluding costs for organic pretreatment, were within the range of previously analyzed costs for higher-salinity waters but are likely to be lower when economies of scale are included for a full-scale, higher volume treatment facility. Importance analysis lends insight into process factors that may not contribute the highest unit costs to treatment but on whole are very important to total system costs. We found that the acid rate for pretreatment, zero-liquid discharge disposal, feed water temperature, and water transportation costs, were the most important factors within total system costs for this analysis. The CO2-PENS Water Treatment Model was developed using GoldSim.


  • A Method and Cost Model for Treatment of Water Extracted During Geologic CO2 Storage

    Journal article for the International Journal of Greenhouse Gas Control – December 2013

    Enid Sullivan, Shaoping Chu, Philip Stauffer, Richard Middleton, and Rajesh Pawar with Los Alamos National Laboratory

    Extraction of water as a part of CO2 storage may be desirable for risk management and process optimization. Treatment and repurposing of this water creates a useful resource and reduces the volumes that must otherwise be disposed. To better understand the tradeoff of costs versus processes and risks, we use a systems approach to evaluate treatment costs that are reasonable for the chemical and physical qualities (salinity, temperature, pH and turbidity) of water that could be extracted from target geologic formations. We evaluate primary and secondary pretreatments, membrane desalination processes (reverse osmosis and nanofiltration), thermal processes (multiple effect distillation and multi-stage flash distillation), and several concentrate (brine) disposal methods. The system model was developed in GoldSim. The results indicate that for waters extracted from storage sites, salinities and temperatures may often be higher than for municipal treatment scenarios. Thus, thermal treatment methods are more cost-feasible than membrane methods in many cases, although pressure recovery methods for reverse osmosis can mitigate this. Treatment costs including concentrate disposal fall within a range of US$0.50–2.50/ton CO2 injected, although some costs can be much higher (up to US$30/ton CO2 under certain concentrate disposal cost ranges). A sensitivity analysis shows that temperature is the most important in determining costs followed by selection of concentrate disposal method.


  • Forecasting Coal Seam Gas Water Production in Queensland's Surat and Southern Bowen Basins

    Technical Report, Prepared for the State of Queensland (Department of Natural Resources and Mines) – September 2012

    Klohn Crippen Berger

    A basin-wide model was built to help forecast produced water from coal seam gas (CSG) operations in Queensland, Australia. This report describes how the tool works and reports a summary of findings for the forecast period of 2010-2060.The Water Production Tool (WPT) required a robust software platform to accommodate both quantitative inputs and inferred relationships. The platform needed to be flexible, transparent and represent the processes inherent in the system with appropriate recognition of uncertainty in all of the variables. The platform selected for the WPT was GoldSim, which permitted construction of a multi-tiered, practical and modifiable tool, with the additional option of stochastic (Monte Carlo) modelling.


  • A CO2-PENS Model of Methods and Costs for Treatment of Water Extracted During Geologic Carbon Sequestration

    International Journal of Greenhouse Gas Control – December 2012

    Enid Sullivan, Shaoping Chu, Philip Stauffer, and Rajesh Pawar with Los Alamos National Laboratory

    Extraction of water during subsurface carbon sequestration may be useful for the control of CO2 placement, reducing pressure risks, and mitigating environmental risks. Desalination of this water may be possible if costs are kept low, in order to minimize the quantity that must be reinjected or otherwise disposed. Added value may be recovered in the form of treated water that can be reused by carbon capture, sequestration, and other industrial processes. Total dissolved solids will range from 10,000mg/L up to over 100,000 mg/L, and temperatures may range up to 120°C, once the water is brought to the surface. We have developed a system-level, mesoscale analysis module for the CO2-Predicting engineered natural system model to analyze the feasibility of treatment, the costs of treatment, the value of energy recovery, and the costs of concentrate disposal. Costs are derived from a database of reported literature values. The model, developed in GoldSim, allows the user to select the most economic options for treatment, to compare costs, and to understand the trade-off of risks and costs. Results of preliminary modeling indicate that while reverse osmosis is feasible within certain temperature and salinity ranges, nanofiltration and thermal methods may be more cost-effective or otherwise feasible.