Seasonal Streamflow Forecasting Service launched

Map of forecast sites for the Murrumbidgee, Upper murray, Kiewa, Ovens, Goulburn, Broken, Capaspe, and Loddon catchments.

Map of forecast sites

High inflows are forecast for rivers and catchments in the south-east Murray-Darling Basin in the next three months. These forecasts are part of the Bureau's new Seasonal Streamflow Forecasting Service, launched in Canberra this week.

The forecasts are freely available on the Bureau's website and predict how much water is expected to flow at 13 river sites and eight storages in the south-east Murray-Darling Basin. The service will help water managers and users make better water availability decisions. More forecasts are planned for other rivers and catchments in the next two years.

Seasonal Streamflow Forecasts are based on probabilities—that is the likelihood or chance of—water flowing in a river or into a storage based on relationships with recent climate and catchment conditions. They are based on statistical models and have been developed using scientific research conducted in partnership with CSIRO.

The public launch of the service follows a long period of consultation by the Bureau with water managers, including the Murray-Darling Basin Authority, and several state-based water management agencies. Speaking at the service launch on 14 December, Mark Sullivan, Managing Director ACTEW Corporation congratulated the Bureau on its stakeholder consultation approach and highlighted the importance that the service is providing to his organisation.

The forecasts help water managers and users to make more informed decisions about:

  • water allocations
  • cropping strategies
  • water market planning
  • environmental watering
  • operating a diversified water supply scheme
  • restricting water supply
  • managing drought.

In addition to three-month forecasts, the Bureau is developing a short-term forecasting tool that will provide seven-day continuous streamflow forecasts. The tool is being tested in the Ovens River in Victoria and will be piloted at further locations in 2011.

For more information, you can visit the About Seasonal Streamflow page, go directly to the forecasts and subscribe to receive notification of new forecasts which are issued monthly. You can also read the Seasonal Streamflow fact sheet or watch the Seasonal Streamflow Forecasts video.