Australian Water Information Dictionary

Water data: Environmental Information Explorer

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A physical feature that is the mixture of gases surrounding the planet.

Source: Bureau glossary

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An artificial or constructed waterway designed to convey water. Often described as open channels to distinguish then from pipes, channels can be categorised as: main (or major) channels whose primary purpose is to convey bulk water from headworks storage or river diversion points into the distribution system; or distribution channels whose primary purpose is to deliver water from main channels to individual farms. The term canal may sometimes be used for main channels that are used for other purposes than just conveyance of bulk water, such as recreation or transport.

Source: NWC Water Dictionary

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An organisation responsible for managing the collection of environmental and water observations (data) and information about these measurements (metadata). The designated owner may differ from the data provider.

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An organisation that provides data and metadata to the Bureau. The designated data provider may differ from the data owner.

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The temperature of air measured by a thermometer freely exposed to the air but shielded from radiation and moisture.

Source: Water Regulations 2008 Schedule 3 Part 1

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A process which occurs at a liquid surface resulting in a change of state from liquid to vapour. In relation to water resource assessment and water accounting, evaporation refers to the movement of water from the land surface (predominantly liquid) to the atmosphere (water vapour). The liquid water at the land surface that may be available for evaporation includes surface water, soil water, water within vegetation and water on vegetation and paved surfaces.

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A part of the physical environment with properties that can be observed; these include natural features such as rivers, aquifers and the atmosphere, and human defined or constructed features such as channels, irrigation districts and urban supply areas.

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The total amount of electromagnetic energy emitted from the sun that falls on a specified unit horizontal surface.

Source: Water Regulations 2008 Schedule 3 Part 1

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The irradiance emitted from the sun that falls on a specified unit horizontal surface.

Source: Water Regulations 2008 Schedule 3 Part 1

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A physical feature that is the solid ground of the Earth.

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Those physical features that relate to atmospheric phenomena, especially weather and weather conditions. For example, the land surface or the atmosphere.

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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).

Related: feature

Synonym: site

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A systematic collection of information about a set of monitoring sites.

Related: monitoring site

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A measurable characteristic of a physical entity (feature); for example the temperature of water in a river.

Related: feature

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Value that represents the acidity or alkalinity of an aqueous solution. It is defined as the negative logarithm of the hydrogen ion concentration of the solution.

Source: Australian and New Zealand Guidelines for Fresh and Marine Water Quality (2000)

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The total liquid product of precipitation or condensation from the atmosphere, as received and measured in a rain gauge.

Source: learn about meteorology

Related: precipitation

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A traditional indicator of the air's moisture content. It is the ratio of the amount of moisture actually in the air to the maximum amount of moisture which the air could hold at the same temperature. Relative humidity is normally expressed as a percentage and at saturation the relative humidity will be very close to 100%. The air can hold more moisture at higher temperatures, hence the relative humidity alone does not give an absolute measure of moisture content.

Source: learn about meteorology

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A designation given to rainfall monitoring sites that indicates how often, or at what times, observations are reported. The set of frequencies include: • Continuous: sites equipped with continuous rainfall intensity recording devices; commonly referred to as the "Pluviograph Network". • Daily: sites where observations of total daily rainfall or evaporation are made. • Synoptic: sites providing discrete observations of total rainfall at some synoptic hours (e.g. 6am, 12am and 3pm) in addition to 9am.

Related: rainfall

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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

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

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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.

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In relation to a water sample, means the measure of all forms of nitrogen found in the water sample, including nitrate, nitrite, ammonia-N and organic forms of nitrogen.

Source: Water Regulations 2008 Schedule 3 Part 1

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In relation to a water sample, means the total concentration of all forms of phosphorus found in the water sample.

Source: Water Regulations 2008 Schedule 3 Part 1

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In relation to a water sample, means the measure of the particles mixed in the water sample.

Source: Water Regulations 2008 Schedule 3 Part 1

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In relation to a water sample, means the amount of small particles of solid matter suspended in the water sample, measured by the amount of scattering and absorption of light rays caused by the particles.

Source: Water Regulations 2008 Schedule 3 Part 1

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The legislative instrument which supports the Bureau’s water information functions as set out in the Commonwealth Water Act 2007 under Part 7 – Water Information. The regulations define who must give specified water information to the Bureau and the time and format in which the information must be given. The Regulations came into effect on 30 June 2008.

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A hydrological feature in which water is stored. Surface water storages include natural and artificial ponds, lakes, reservoirs and lagoons, also the bodies of water held behind weirs and dams.

In the National Water Account, surface water storages include only artificial or natural water storages connected to rivers, which primary purposes are medium to long term water storage to service surface water access rights. These storages can be managed by an organisation to provide water to an urban water system.

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The temperature of water measured by a thermometer freely exposed to the water but shielded from radiation.

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The volume of water flowing down a watercourse over a fixed period of time; usually reported as megalitres per day or cubic metres per second.

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The elevation of the water surface in a watercourse at a particular time and date, measured relative to a specified datum, typically the Australian Height Datum (AHD).

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The temperature of air measured by a thermometer that has its bulb wrapped in wet muslin.

Source: Water Regulations 2008 Schedule 3 Part 1

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The product of the average wind speed and the period over which that average speed was measured.

Source: Water Regulations 2008 Schedule 3 Part 1

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The rate of movement of air in the atmosphere measured instantaneously at a specified altitude.

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