Warragamba Dam, NSW, Australia.
Water resources assessment and water use accounting
The Water Resources Assessment and Water Use Accounting project is part of the Water Information Research and Development Alliance between CSIRO's Water for a Healthy Country Flagship and the Bureau of Meteorology.
28 April 2009 | Updated 11 July 2012
Water scarcity and demand for water is a major challenge facing Australia. The need to accurately monitor, assess and forecast the availability, condition and use of water resources is now more vital than ever.
A key component of the Water Information Research and Development Alliance is developing the technology that will enable the Bureau of Meteorology to provide water resources assessments and water use accounts to Australian governments, business and people.
The Water Resources Assessment and Water Use Accounting project is developing the technology needed to produce comprehensive information on the generation, distribution and use of water resources across the whole of Australia.
This information needs to have sufficient local detail, accuracy and currency, and be produced on demand in a robust and transparent manner.
The project is developing innovative methods to deal with incompleteness and uncertainty in measuring and estimating the water balance.
This is achieved by objectively assessing the performance of the variety of existing models that describe parts of the water cycle, and integrating the best methods within a flexible modelling system, informed by a wide range of data collected on the ground as well as by satellites.
To support water assessment and water accounting, the project is developing innovative methods to deal with incompleteness and uncertainty in measuring and estimating the water balance, and statistical methods to summarise and interpret the large volumes of water data being generated.
Key research deliverables
The Water Resources Assessment and Water Use Accounting project is developing a continental water balance modelling system that will form part of the Bureau of Meteorology’s Australian Water Resource Information System (AWRIS).
The system will cover the entire country and will be delivered in stages starting in 2009. The system will contain models to estimate the:
water balance of agricultural and forestry land, residential land, water bodies and natural vegetation
generation and movement of river flows
groundwater balance and its connection to surface waters.
The research alliance brings together Water for a Healthy Country’s leading expertise in water and information sciences with the Bureau of Meteorology’s operational role in hydrologic analysis and prediction.
The Bureau of Meteorology is drawing on CSIRO research expertise to improve the information available to Australia’s water industry and increase its capacity to manage our water resources.
Find out more about Monitoring Water Resources from Catchment to Continent fact sheet project [fact sheet 687 KB, PDF] and the Water Information Research and Development Alliance.