The Water Information Research and Development Alliance (WIRADA) was a partnership between the Bureau of Meteorology (the Bureau) and CSIRO from 2008 to 2019.
WIRADA brought together CSIRO's leading expertise in water and information sciences and the Bureau’s operational role in hydrological analysis and prediction to deliver value-added water information products and tools.
Together CSIRO and the Bureau have developed a continental landscape water balance model (AWRA-L), a regulated/unregulated river system model (AWRA-R) and short-term/seasonal streamflow forecasting models and water data transfer format and information architectures to exchange and structure water information and foundation data sets. This includes a continental digital elevation model, improved rainfall and actual evapotranspiration.
Over the life of the alliance, 903 journal papers, conference papers and reports were published.
Since WIRADA finished, CSIRO’s AWRA-L and AWRA-R models continue to be used by the Bureau to produce their annual National Water Accounts (NWA). The Bureau also uses the AWRA-L model to produce Water Resource Assessment reports at a national scale.
WIRADA was established in 2008 in response to new legislated responsibilities for the Bureau under the Water Act 2007. The initial $50 million investment during 2008 to 2013 delivered significant scientific and research innovation required by the Bureau to fulfil its national water information mandate.
Further investment of $20 million from 2013 to 2016 built on the science and translation of the science to operations, leading to operational products on water information, water accounting and assessment and water forecasting now routinely delivered by the Bureau of Meteorology to support water resources management and planning.
WIRADA’s quality science underpins a number of products that support the provision of national water information. These include:
- a national water information system (AWRIS) to collect and hold water data from formerly disparate sources that helps to standardise, organise, and deliver high quality national data and information to end-users
- periodic assessments of the status of water resources in Australia
- the annual National Water Accounts (NWA)
- water forecasting and prediction services.