Water Information Role

Transforming Australia's water resources information

In May 2008, the Australian Government announced Water for the Future, a $12.9 billion water investment program.

Water for the Future is designed to secure long-term water supply for all Australians. It includes the $450 million Improving Water Information Program administered by the Bureau of Meteorology (the Bureau) and backed by the Water Act 2007 and key stakeholders.

Under Improving Water Information, the Bureau will provide free web access to consistent, integrated national water information, suitable for a range of uses.

How will water information improve?

New reporting, analysis and forecasting products and services will improve policy and infrastructure decisions, improve evaluation of water sector reform and generate greater confidence in Australia's water management.

What does water information tell us?

Water information is used to answer questions such as:

  • How much water is available in different parts of the country today and how does this compare with the past?
  • Who is entitled to use water and how much are they using?
  • How much water is being allocated and how is the security of particular water entitlements changing?
  • How much water is being traded and to where?
  • How much water is the environment getting?
  • How much water will be available in the coming days, weeks, months and seasons?
  • How much water is being intercepted by farm dams and land management changes?
  • How is flood risk changing in response to climatic and land management changes?
  • How is the quality of water in rivers and aquifers changing?

Delivering water information

Since 2007, the Bureau has employed an extra 120 people around Australia—mostly based in Melbourne and Canberra—to deliver water information.

The Bureau is also working to improve forecasting services and analysis and interpretation of national water information.

National collaboration

The development of a national system for water information storage, analysis and reporting requires major collaboration between stakeholders.

The Bureau is working closely with water data owners to make sure we develop the most relevant and useful products.

We are also building on existing industry and government experience through formal advisory, reference and expert panels.

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