Australian Water Information Dictionary

Alphabetical list of items

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S

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signal to noise ratio

A measure used in science and engineering that compares the level of a desired signal to the level of background noise. It is defined as the ratio of signal power to the noise power. A ratio higher than 1:1 indicates more signal than noise.

Synonym: SNR

This definition applies to:

Groundwater with a salinity (expressed as Total Dissolved Solids) greater than 3,000 milligrams per litre.

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The concentration of soluble salts in a solution, soil or other medium.

Source: eWater Toolkit Glossary

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The part of the lithosphere where each void space in subsurface material is filled with water, or is saturated, under greater pressure than that of the atmosphere.

Source: Poehls DJ and Smith GJ 2009, Encyclopedic dictionary of hydrogeology, Elsevier Inc., 517 pp.

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South East / southeast

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A one- or three-month outlook of total streamflow volumes at a site or total inflows into a water storage.

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For an interim water allocation, a water allocation, a seasonal water assignment or a water licence, means the assignment by the holder of the allocation, notice or licence of the benefit under the allocation, notice or licence to another person, for a water year, of all or part of the water that may be taken under the allocation or notice.

Source: Water Act 2000 (Qld)

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A portion of a cross-section for which velocity is measured or unmeasured.

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system of integrated environmental-economic accounting

This definition applies to:

system of environmental-economic accounting for water

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The infiltration of water from streams, irrigation channels, water storages, farm dams, natural surface water features and septic tanks into the groundwater system. It is a form of surface water–groundwater interaction and groundwater recharge.

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Oscillation of the surface of a liquid caused mainly by winds and variations in atmospheric pressure.

Source: AS 3778.1—2009 Clause 2.53. Reproduced with permission from SAI Global Ltd under Licence 1307-c151. This standard can be purchased online at http://www.saiglobal.com

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To take water directly from a water resource for the use of the person who takes the water, but does not include taking water: (a) to provide it to another person, (b) under a stock and domestic right or (c) from an infrastructure operator.

Source: Water Regulations 2008 Schedule 3 Part 1

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A small-scale, on-site sewage system that is common in areas with no connection to main sewage systems and uses anaerobic processes to break down wastewater.

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The SEQ Water Grid was established in July 2008 to connect water supplies and treatment facilities across the South East Queensland region. This provides coordinated management of water resources. See SEQ Water Grid for further information.

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The process of recovering water from a wastewater system.

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Indicates a mandatory requirement.

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Loss of shallow groundwater to the atmosphere by evapotranspiration, particularly important in the riparian zone. It includes groundwater uptake by vegetation from beneath the watertable but does not include uptake from the unsaturated zone.

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A vector GIS format for storing geometric location and associated attribute information, that lacks the capacity to store toplogical information. It is developed and regulated by ESRI as a (mostly) open specification for data interoperability.

Source: ESRI

Related: Geographic Information System (GIS)

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The displayed route undertaken by an ADCP during a measured transect.

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Indicates a recommendation.

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A measure used in science and engineering that compares the level of a desired signal to the level of background noise. It is defined as the ratio of signal power to the noise power. A ratio higher than 1:1 indicates more signal than noise.

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A place where observations of the environment are made; typically a physical location where sensors are used to measure the properties of one or more features of the environment (e.g. depth of a river and temperature of the atmosphere).

Synonym: monitoring site

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A statistical score used to objectively assess the performance (skill) of a model. A score can be presented absolutely or formulated as a skill score.

Skill Score =(Smod - Sref) / (Sperf - Sref)

Where

Smod = Score for the model forecast

Sref = Score for a reference forecast, usually climatology

Sperf = Score for a perfect forecast, usually 0 or 1

This definition applies to:

Accumulation of snow and ice on the ground.

This definition applies to:

signal to noise ratio

A measure used in science and engineering that compares the level of a desired signal to the level of background noise. It is defined as the ratio of signal power to the noise power. A ratio higher than 1:1 indicates more signal than noise.

Synonym: S/N

This definition applies to:

Soils with an abrupt clay increase down the profile and high sodium content, which may lead to soil dispersion and instability. Usually associated with a dry climate and widely distributed in the eastern half of Australia and western portion of Western Australia.

Source: R F Isbell, 1996, The Australian Soil Classification, CSIRO Publishing, Melbourne.

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The water content in the unsaturated zone of a soil profile.

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A soil property indicating the rate of transmission of water through the soil matrix.

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The characteristics caused by the presence of sufficient sodium attached to clay in soil as to effect the soil structure. This reduces infiltration and drainage.

Source: CRC for Soil & Land Management, 1994, Technical note 1: Introduction to soil sodicity.

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The relative amounts of sand, silt and clay particles in a soil. The physical and chemical behaviour of a soil is influenced strongly by soil texture.

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An index calculated from the monthly or seasonal fluctuations in the air pressure difference between Tahiti and Darwin. See the Climate page on SOI for more information.

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A water accounting report tailored to the information needs of a user able to command this information.

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The storage property for an unconfined aquifer that defines the quantity of water that can be drained from an aquifer under the influence of gravity or extracted by pumping.

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A single value check of a measuring instrument or system to confirm that it is within expected tolerance.

A series of spot checks may provide sufficient evidence to confirm, or modify, the relationship between recorded values and independently measured values.

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sea surface temperature

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The water level, typically measured at a water monitoring site.

Synonym: gauge height

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The relationship between the gauge height and the cross-sectional area of the stream.

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Curve, equation or table that expresses the relation between the stage and the discharge in an open channel at a given cross-section, for a given condition of steady, rising or falling stage.

Source: AS3778.1—2009 Clause 1.83. Reproduced with permission from SAI Global Ltd under Licence 1307-c151. This standard can be purchased online at http://www.saiglobal.com

Related: rating

This definition applies to:

The square root of the average of the squares of a set of deviations about an arithmetic mean.

Source: © Macquarie Dictionary Fifth Edition, 2009, Macquarie Dictionary Publishers.

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An instrument used to perform calibration tests of monitoring equipment.

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Precedent legislation for administering water rights in each State or Territory (ultimately vested in the Crown) and applicable to all water within the jurisdiction.

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A statistical assessment of whether observations reflect a pattern rather than just chance.

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A pond, lake or basin, whether natural or artificial, for the storage, regulation and control of water.

Synonym: water storage

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Outflows from water storages of the region. The value can include all or part of the water storages reported under line item 1.1 Storage.

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Inflows into water storages of the region. The value can include all or part of the water storages reported under line item 1.1 Storage.

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The elevation of the water surface in a water storage at a particular time and date, measured relative to a specified datum, typically the Australian Height Datum (AHD). See the water storage diagram for application with respect to water storages.

Synonym: water level

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The volume of water stored at a particular time and date. It excludes the dead storage volume and hence is the volume of water that can be accessed under normal circumstances without the installation of additional infrastructure.

Related: dead storage capacity

Synonym:

This definition applies to:

Storages which are part of the connected surface water store and contain water yet to be shared within an entitlement system. In the National Water Account, storages managed by organisations to provide water to urban centres are included in ‘storages – entitlement system’ as they are considered to contain water yet to be ‘shared’ or ‘abstracted’, even if not formal entitlement system governs the urban water supply.

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The volume of water a confined aquifer will release when the water-level is lowered. Upon the lowering of water-levels in such aquifers, they remain fully saturated so that no dewatering occurs. The water released is volumetrically equivalent to the volumetric expansion of the water and contraction of the pore space. Also referred to as the coefficient of storage.

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Excess rainfall that is collected after it has run off urban surfaces.

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Stormwater that discharges directly into the sea via a stormwater outflow drain located on the coastline.

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The formation of layers in a water body that show differences in temperature, turbidity, pH, nutrients, salinity, dissolved oxygen or light penetration at various depths.

Source: eWater Toolkit Glossary

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A watercourse and its tributaries. Can be permanent or ephemeral.

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Those physical characteristics of a specific stream location that determine the stage-discharge relationship.

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The flow of water in streams, rivers and other channels.

Synonym: flow

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Aquatic animals found in groundwater; sometimes used as a synonym of stygobite.

Source: Tomlinson M and Boulton A 2008, Subsurface groundwater dependent ecosystems: a review of biodiversity, ecological processes and ecosystem services, National Water Commission Waterlines Occasional Paper No. 8, October 2008

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A water-dependent ecosystem occurring below the surface of the ground within fractured, porous or unconsolidated aquifers, and in caves in both the saturated and vadose zones.

Source: Australian National Aquatic Ecosystem Classification, Subterranean Class – Background briefing note. Aquatic Ecosystems Task Group.

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The area of the water surface, typically measured when the water storage is at full supply level.

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A GDE that accesses subsurface groundwater to meet all or some of its water requirements. This includes terrestrial vegetation, subsurface fauna communities (e.g. burrowing crayfish), and some vegetation which is associated with a surface water body.

Source: Eamus, D., Froend, R., Loomes, R., Hose, G., Murray, B., (2006). A functional methodology for determining the groundwater regime needed to maintain the health of groundwater-dependent vegetation, Australian Journal of Botany, 2006, 54, 97–114, 2006.

This definition applies to:

A GDE which uses groundwater after it has been discharged to the surface. This includes all groundwater-fed surface water bodies, such as rivers, wetlands, lakes and springs.

This definition refers only to the aquatic (inundated) component of a system, and therefore excludes any vegetation which may fringe a surface water body.

Source: Eamus, D., Froend, R., Loomes, R., Hose, G., Murray, B., (2006). A functional methodology for determining the groundwater regime needed to maintain the health of groundwater-dependent vegetation, Australian Journal of Botany, 2006, 54, 97–114, 2006.

This definition applies to:

Water from precipitation or other sources that flows over the land surface.

In relation to the water resource assessment, surface runoff is the fraction of precipitation that does not infiltrate at the land surface and may be retained at the surface or result in overland flow toward depressions, streams and other surface water bodies.

This definition applies to:

There are multiple contexts for this item

Context 1

Water that flows over or is stored on the surface of the earth. For the purpose of the National Water Account, this excludes the water in the water distribution system.

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Context 2

Includes: (a) water in a watercourse, lake or wetland and (b) any water flowing over or lying on land: (i) after having precipitated naturally or (ii) after having risen to the surface naturally from underground.

Source: Water Act 2007 Part 1 Section 4

Equivalent: water market equivalent terms

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Context 3

Water that flows over or is stored on the surface of the earth. For the purpose of the National Water Account, surface water consists only of water connected, either seasonally or perennially, to the rivers and not yet abstracted for consumptive purpose. It includes water administered by jurisdictions and water stored in surface water storages. It excludes water in off-channel water, urban water systems and irrigation schemes.

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Water access entitlement granted on the surface water resource.

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Volume of water resulting from an allocation announcement made on a surface water access entitlement.

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A transaction to transfer a surface water allocation from one legal entity to another, with or without change in location of the abstraction point. It includes the volume allocated on a previous tagged trade.

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A region's surface water asset consists of surface water located within the region's boundaries and claims to water that may result in inflows into the region's surface water.

This definition applies to:

Water assets that relate to surface water including water storage – stored or in transit – in catchments, regulated rivers and utility networks and soil moisture. Water storage in utility networks includes all water in works such as pipes regardless of whether these works are above or below the surface of the earth.

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Outflows from the region's surface water due to natural processes or diversions, and decrease of claims to water held on behalf of the region's surface water.

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A transaction to transfer for a specified term a surface water access entitlement from one legal entity to another, with or without change in location of the abstraction point.

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A transaction to transfer perpetually a surface water access entitlement from one legal entity to another, with or without change in location of the abstraction point. It excludes tagged trade where the trade occurred prior to the reporting period.

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Those hydrological features that convey and/or store water over the surface of the Earth; comprising streams, channels and water storages.

Related:

This definition applies to:

Inflows into the region's surface water or increase of claims to water that may result in inflows into the region's surface water.

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There are multiple contexts for this item

Context 1

Increases in the surface water assets of a water reporting entity.

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Context 2

Volume of physical inflows to surface water during the reporting period from outside the region or from other stores.

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Water liability relating to surface water.

Related: water liability

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Decreases in the region's surface water liability. It includes adjustment or forfeiture of the obligation to deliver surface water and in-stream use. It excludes diversion of water.

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An increase in surface water liability as a result of allocation announcements, etc.

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There are multiple contexts for this item

Context 1

Decreases in the surface water assets of a water reporting entity.

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Context 2

Volume of physical outflows from surface water during the reporting period to outside the region or to other stores.

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Water rights granted by a jurisdiction to access the region's surface water.

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Unconsolidated sediments found at the land surface.

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The groundwater extraction regime, measured over a specified planning timeframe, which allows acceptable levels of stress in groundwater systems and protects dependent economic, social and environmental values.

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The level of water extraction from a particular system that would compromise key environmental assets, or ecosystem functions and the productive base of the resource, if it were exceeded.

This definition applies to:

Statement of Water Accounting Concepts

This definition applies to: