Murray-Darling Basin
29.1 Evaporation from landscape

Supporting Information

The volumetric value for the line item for the 2010–11 year was 746,945,199 ML. The line item represents the volume of water that passes into the atmosphere across a water/air interface including evaporation from the landscape within the Murray–Darling Basin (MDB) region.  The following table presents breakdown information for the volumetric value on sustainable diversion limit (SDL) area basis.


Evaporation from the landscape in the MDB region for the 2010–11 year
Water resource plan area

SDL area


Volume (ML)  



SW19 Warrego – Paroo – Nebine SS29 Paroo  Qld 18,837,767
SS28 Warrego  Qld 50,388,613
SS27 Nebine  Qld 22,324,528
SW18 Condamine–Balonne SS26 Condamine–Balonne  Qld 74,549,854
SW17 Moonie SS25 Moonie  Qld 11,349,265
SW16 Qld Border Rivers SS24 Qld Border Rivers  Qld 19,330,565
SW15 NSW Border Rivers SS23 NSW Border Rivers  NSW 17,886,219
SW11 Barwon–Darling Watercourse SS19 Barwon–Darling Watercourse  NSW 2,095,043
SW12 NSW Intersecting Streams SS17 NSW Intersecting Streams NSW 70,437,836
SW14 Gwydir SS22 Gwydir NSW 21,235,627
SW13 Namoi SS21 Namoi  NSW 31,704,427
SW10 Macquarie–Castlereagh SS20 Macquarie–Castlereagh  NSW 64,313,598
Sub-total Northern Basin 404,453,341
SW9 Lachlan SS16 Lachlan  NSW 61,696,037
SW8 Murrumbidgee  SS15 Murrumbidgee NSW NSW 65,377,718
SW7 NSW Murray and Lower Darling SS18 Lower Darling  NSW 62,486,585
SS14 NSW Murray NSW 14,975,961
SW2 Vic Murray SS3 Kiewa Vic 1,976,906
SW3 Northern Victoria SS4 Ovens  Vic 7,890,870
SS5 Broken  Vic 3,734,817
SS6 Goulburn Vic 15,645,514
SS7 Campaspe  Vic 3,776,042
SS8 Loddon Vic 10,861,920
SW2 Vic Murray SS2 Vic Murray  Vic 14,026,753
SW4 Wimmera–Mallee  SS9 Wimmera–Mallee  Vic 41,027,166
SW6 Eastern Mount Lofty Ranges SS13 Eastern Mount Lofty Ranges  SA 1,794,284
SW5 SA Murray SS11 SA Murray SA 697,952
SS10 SA Non-prescribed areas  SA 33,897,131
SW6 Eastern Mount Lofty Ranges SS12 Marne–Saunders  SA 444,387
SW1 ACT  SS1 ACT ACT 2,181,813
Sub-total Southern Basin 342,491,858
Total for the region 746,945,199



Quantification Approach

Data Source

Data sources were (1) Bureau of Meteorology (the Bureau): National Climate Centre daily climate grids (rainfall, temperature and solar radiation) and Australian Hydrological Geospatial Fabric (AHGF) waterbody feature class, and (2) Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO): WaterDyn and Australian water resource assessment – landscape (AWRA-L) model parameters, and monthly climatological average radiation grid data.

Provided by

The Bureau.


Evapotranspiration from the landscape was estimated based on the AWRA-L version 1.0.0 (Van Dijk 2010) model outputs.

Using climate grid data for the Murray–Darling Basin region (including precipitation, temperature and solar radiation data), AWRA-L was used to estimate the evapotranspiration depth at each grid-point within the region. Only evapotranspiration from the landscape was considered; evapotranspiration from storages, lakes, off-channel water storages and other water bodies was not included.

The average evapotranspiration depth across the MDB landscape was determined as the weighted mean of evapotranspiration occurring from the relevant grid points within the region boundary. Points were weighted upon the area they represented within the MDB landscape to remove edge effects (where the area represented was not wholly within the MDB region) and the effect of changing area represented with changing latitude. The depth of evapotranspiration was converted to a volumetric estimate by multiplying by the total area of the MDB landscape.

Assumptions, Limitations, Caveats and Approximations

The gridded climate input data were subject to approximations associated with interpolating observation point data to a national grid detailed in Jones et al. (2007).

Uncertainty Information

The uncertainty estimate was not quantified.

Comparative year

There was no comparative line item in the 2010 Account.  The relevant volume calculated for the 2009–10 year was 515,978,016 ML.