AUS$20 million to boost water information

More than 100 new projects will share in US$20 million to improve the collection, management and sharing of water information across Australia, Minister for Climate Change and Water, Senator Penny Wong, said today. “As we tackle climate change and deal with the effects of drought, the availability of robust and reliable information about our water supplies is hugely important,” Senator Wong said.

“The US$20 million announced today will support some 115 new projects to modernise and extend water information networks and systems in both urban and rural areas.”

This US$20 million is the third round of funding under the US$80 million, five-year Modernisation and Extension of Hydrologic Monitoring Systems Program administered by the Bureau of Meteorology.

“This new funding builds on the many successful projects funded to date, which range from updating monitoring equipment to providing new ways of assessing water availability,” Senator Wong said.

“Over the life of this program, we will continue to work with States and Territories towards better measurement of our precious water resources, and more accessible information on water availability.”

Examples of projects funded in this round include:

  • Improved monitoring of groundwater levels in remote indigenous communities in the Northern Territory (US$285,000);
  • Upgrade to the monitoring of flows in and out of the Menindee Lakes in New South Wales (US$152,000);
  • Installing an automatic monitoring system for groundwater levels and quality in Tasmania (US$400,000);
  • Building a new system to record water licences in Western Australia (US$100,000);
  • Extending rainfall and streamflow measurement systems to better understand water security for irrigated areas in Queensland (US$120,000); and
  • Improving estimation of flow volumes going down rivers in flood in Victoria (US$400,000).

A full list of projects is attached to this press release.

Under the Commonwealth Water Act 2007, the Bureau of Meteorology has the responsibility to collate and analyse water data from across the country, to conduct national water resource assessments, and to prepare annual water accounts for the nation.

The Bureau is working to make water information available on the web as well as establishing a new water availability forecasting service to complement its current national role in flood warning and forecasting. More information.

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