Twenty makes seventy seasonal streamflow locations

Melrose Drive Woden

Melrose Drive Woden

Twenty new locations have been added to the Bureau’s seasonal streamflow forecasting service—including the first for the Northern Territory—meaning forecasts are now issued for 70 locations every month.

Seasonal streamflow forecasts can help water managers and users make informed decisions on water management issues, including seasonal water allocation, reservoir operation, environmental flow management, water markets trading, and drought response strategies, including setting supply restrictions.

The operational streamflow forecasting service began in December 2010 with a total of 21 forecast locations throughout New South Wales and Victoria. The service now includes 25 locations in New South Wales alone, along with 21 in Victoria, 20 in Queensland, three in the Australian Capital Territory and one in the Northern Territory.

Locations are added to the monthly service where forecasts of unregulated streamflows assist users, and where certain data are available so models can forecast seasonal streamflows accurately and reliably.

At least 30 years of historical data is required for testing the model at each location to see how well it predicts seasonal streamflow. Access is needed to real-time monthly streamflow data as well as El Niño–Southern Oscillation and other climate indices that are important indicators of expected streamflow in the coming three months.

The aim is to expand the service to more catchments across Australia, particularly in Western Australia, South Australia, Northern Territory and Tasmania, based on user need, data availability and model performance.