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Dr Wolfgang Schmid

Senior Research Scientist


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During his time at CSIRO, Dr Schmid has worked on (a) Sustainable water management in Western Australia, (b) Integrated basin modelling projects in South Asia, (c) Bioregional Assessments of the impacts of Coal Seam Gas and coal mining development on water resources, (d) Direct, indirect and cumulative impacts of coal seam dewatering and related land subsidence, and (e) Groundwater pathway analysis to assess impact of fraccing chemicals.
Prior to joining CSIRO in 2012, Dr Schmid worked as Assistant Research Professor and Research Hydrologist at the University of Arizona mainly on computational solutions of water resources management in arid and semi-arid areas. He is the main author of ‘The Farm Process’ for MODFLOW now integrated into MODFLOW-OWHM ( Before that, Dr Schmid worked as Hydrogeologist in consultancies in Germany and the United Arab Emirates for the German companies GTZ (German Technical Cooperation) and Dornier-Consulting (subsidiary of EADS Germany) with emphasis on groundwater exploration, groundwater modelling, and contaminant hydrogeology.

Other Interests

• Hydrologic hindcast or forecast models that simulate constrained surface-water and groundwater supply driven by water demand (e.g., irrigation demand) within fully coupled systems of land use, surface-water, and groundwater.
• Response of water demand/supply to changing conditions by dynamically linking hydrologic models to models that simulate these external changes (e.g., climate changes, droughts, sea level rise, salt water intrusion, land-use changes, resource exploitation, changes in water rights).
• Dynamic dependency of surface-water/groundwater interaction on changing heads, flows, and aquifer deformation. This includes:
o Improved coupling between river system models and MODFLOW groundwater models
o Impacts aquifer compaction/expansion on surface deformation, deformation-dependent surface-water/groundwater interaction & conjunctive use, and deformation dependency of aquifer-hydraulic properties.

Current Roles

  • Groundwater Modelling
    Sustainable water management in Western Australia (e.g., Myalup irrigated area and Peel food zone)

  • Groundwater Modelling
    Sustainable Development Investment Strategy project on Indus Basin of Pakistan

  • Groundwater Trend Analysis
    Sustainable Development Investment Strategy project on Brahmani-Baitarni River Basin of India

Academic Qualifications

  • 2004

    Doctor of Philosophy, Hydrology
    University of Arizona, Tucson, Arizona, U.S.A.

  • 1994

    Diplom, Geology
    University of Tübingen, Germany

  • 1994

    Diplom, Geography
    University of Tübingen, Germany

Professional Experiences

  • 2012-present

    Senior Research Scientist
    CSIRO Land and Water, Canberra (Black Mountain, ACT) & Perth (Floreat, WA), Australia

  • Nov 2009-Dec 2011

    Assistant Research Professor
    University of Arizona, Department of Hydrology and Water Resources

  • Aug 2004-Oct 2009

    Research Hydrologist
    University of Arizona, Department of Hydrology and Water Resources

  • Jan 2000-Aug 2004

    PhD Student
    University of Arizona, Department of Hydrology and Water Resources

  • Feb 1998-Nov 1999

    Consortium GTZ (German Technical Cooperation) and Dornier-Consulting, Groundwater Assessment Abu Dhabi

Achievements and Awards

  • 2009

    Kevin J Neese Award - Groundwater Assocation of California
    Major Contributor to the awarded USGS team effort on modelling the “Groundwater Availability of the Central Valley Aquifer,”