Australia's water storages 65% full
Googong Reservoir ACT
For the first time, Australians can see how much water is available across Australia using the Bureau of Meteorology's new Water Storage information product.
Water Storage provides water volumes for more than 250 publicly-owned storages around the country. It covers more than 90% of water held in public storage.
Storage levels can also be found at state or territory, capital city, drainage division or individual levels. Visitors to the site can see changes to storage levels over a 12 month period.
On 21 October, Water Storage showed that Australia's storages were 65% full compared to 52.2% at the same time last year.
A closer look at the data revealed that water storage levels have not risen evenly across cities and states.
Perth and its surrounding areas have missed out on the increase to water storages that most other parts of Australia have seen in 2010.
A Special Climate Statement released by the Bureau in early October provides insight into rainfall over longer periods of time.
Senator Don Farrell, Parliamentary Secretary for Sustainability and Urban Water, launched Water Storage in Canberra on Thursday, 21 October.
"For the first time we have real-time data that tells us exactly where and how much water is available nationally," Senator Farrell said.
"This new product is an important step in providing the Australian community with a consistent and national picture of Australia's water storage volumes."
The release of Australia's first national water storage website is part of the Australian Government's $12.9 billion investment in Water for Future a 10-year plan to secure long-term water supply for all Australians.
Speaking at the launch, the Bureau of Meteorology's Dr Rob Vertessy, Deputy Director for Climate and Water, said "Water Storage is the first of many water information products that the Bureau will deliver to the community using the Australian Water Resources Information System.
"In the coming year, the Bureau will release more detailed water information products that show where the water is, where it is going and who's using it," Dr Vertessy said.
A beta version of Water Storage was released on the Bureau's website in June 2010. The beta release provided valuable time to test the product in a fully operational environment and to work with data providers to fine tune the information.
The Bureau is grateful to the National Water Commission for its support under the Raising National Water Standards program and all of the data providers for their cooperation and support in the development of Water Storage.