17.1 Evaporation from surface water

Supporting Information

The volume reported (15,283 ML) represents evaporation from surface water storages and weirs within the Adelaide region during the 2010–11 year. Evaporation, itemised by each surface water storage and weir, is provided in the following table.

Evaporation from surface water storages and weirs
Surface water storages
Volume (ML)
Kangaroo Creek Reservoir1 1,082
Little Para Reservoir1 970
Millbrook Reservoir1 1,830
Mount Bold Reservoir1 2,905
Myponga Reservoir1 2,657
South Para Reservoir1 4,374
Warren Reservoir1 1,106
Barossa Weir2
Clarendon Weir2 86
Gorge Weir2 9
Gumeracha Weir2 231
Total 15,283

1. Dynamic surface area used
2. Static surface area used

Quantification Approach

Data Source

Bureau of Meteorology.

Provided by

Bureau of Meteorology.


Potential evaporation is an estimate of the evaporative demand of the environment. The Priestly and Taylor method was used to estimate potential evaporation – as calculated by the WaterDyn model (Raupach et al. 2008) – from surface water storages and weirs.

This method used monthly, open water evaporation data produced by the Bureau of Meteorology. These data are based on daily gridded climate data that are available on a 0.05 degree (5 km) national grid and included downward solar irradiance, and maximum and minimum air temperature. The methods used to generate these gridded datasets are outlined in Jones et al. (2007).

Evaporation at each waterbody was estimated from the proportionally weighted average of grid-points that intersected each storage or weir (water feature). The volume was then estimated using the monthly average surface area of each waterbody. The surface area varied dynamically with changing storage level where the relationship between storage level and surface area had been derived.


Assumptions, Limitations, Caveats and Approximations

  • The Priestly and Taylor potential evaporation estimates are subject to approximations associated with interpolating the observation point input data to a national grid as described in Jones et al. (2007).
  • The dynamic storage surface areas calculated from the levels and storage rating tables represent a monthly average and therefore will not capture changes that occur on a shorter timescale.
  • Evaporation was only estimated for the surface water storages and weirs (for which data were available) within the Adelaide region and did not include river channels.

Uncertainty Information

The uncertainty estimate was not quantified.

Comparative year

This corresponds to line item 14.1 Evaporation from connected surface water reported in the 2010 Account. In the 2011 Account the following changes were made, which caused the values of the 2009–10 year to be restated:

  • Reclassification: In the 2011 Account, the Bureau of Meteorology reclassified major storages located off-channel as part of line item 3.1 Urban water supply system to provide clearer information to users. The criteria for this reclassification required that storages were located off-stream, harvested minimal runoff (due to a diversion channel around the perimeter of the storage) and were used only for urban water supply. Therefore evaporation from those storages reclassified as being part of the urban water system were not reported at this line item.
  • Prior period error correction: In 2010 a bias correction applied to the satellite-derived solar radiation dataset was incorrect resulting in an overestimation of incoming solar radiation. When the bias correction was updated and evaporation was re-estimated, the comparative year volume reported for evaporation decreased.
  • Change in methodology: In 2010, the Penman open water evaporation method was used to estimate evaporation. In 2011 the Priestly and Taylor potential evaporation method was used to estimate evaporation, which resulted in a decrease to the comparative year volume.

Restatement of the volume published in the 2010 Account was made as the difference from these changes was material and increased the accuracy of the information provided to the users of the National Water Account. It was not possible to separate the change in volume due to error corrections, reclassification and changes in methodology. The changes and their respective volumes are detailed in the following table. The restated comparative year volume is 16,635 ML

Restated comparative year information for line item 17.1 Evaporation from surface water
2010 Account line item name Source Volume at 30 June 2010 reported in 2010 Account (ML) Value difference to volume reported due to changes (ML)
Volume at 30 June 2010 reported in 2011 Account (ML)
14.1 Evaporation from connected surface water Barossa Reservoir 1,156 (1,156)  
Barossa Weir 54 (16) 38
Clarendon Weir 137 (36) 101
Gorge Weir 14 (4) 10
Gumeracha Weir 37 231 268
Happy Valley Reservoir 2,909 (2,909)  
Hope Valley Reservoir 917 (917)  
Kangaroo Creek Reservoir 1,461 (357) 1104
Little Para Reservoir 1,652 (430) 1222
Millbrook Reservoir 3,136 (881) 2255
Mount Bold Reservoir 4,396 (1,170) 3226
Myponga Reservoir 3,442 (859) 2583
Onkaparinga Summit Reservoir 194 (194)  
South Para Reservoir 6,627 (1,884) 4743
Warren Reservoir 1,559 (474) 1085
Total 27,691 (11,056) 16,635