Murray-Darling Basin
9.1 Precipitation on surface water

Supporting Information

The volumetric value for the line item at the end of the 2010–11 year was 2,019,620 ML.

The line item represents precipitation volumes on surface water assets within the Murray–Darling basin (MDB) region.  Precipitation on storages (included in line item 1.1); regulated river channels, locks and weirs (included in line item 1.3); lakes (included in line item 1.4); and other known water bodies within the region were taken into account in the line item. Information on precipitation on other surface water assets (mainly unregulated rivers and unknown water bodies) is not available.

Precipitation volumes on surface water assets on a surface Water Resources Plan (WRP) area basis is summarised in the following table. Specific details of precipitation on individual asset basis are included in the table thereafter. In the tables, volumes shown against a WRP or surface water sustainable diversion limit (SDL) area are based on surface water assets geographically located within that area.


Summary of precipitation volumes on surface water assets in the MDB region in the 2010–11 year
Surface water resource plan area


 Volume (ML) 



SW19 Warrego – Paroo – Nebine Qld
SW18 Condamine–Balonne Qld 39,674
SW17 Moonie Qld
SW16 Qld Border Rivers Qld 29,195
SW15 NSW Border Rivers NSW 10,143
SW11 Barwon–Darling watercourse NSW
SW12 NSW Intersecting Streams NSW
SW14 Gwydir NSW 25,209
SW13 Namoi  NSW 40,314
SW10 Macquarie–Castlereagh NSW 82,323
Sub-total Northern Basin 226,858
SW9 Lachlan  NSW 77,227
SW8 Murrumbidgee NSW NSW 117,494
SW7 NSW Murray and Lower Darling NSW 620,641
SW3 Northern Victoria  Vic 288,332
SW2 Vic Murray Vic 148,880
SW4 Wimmera–Mallee  Vic 39,299
SW6 Eastern Mount Lofty Ranges SA
SW5 SA Murray SA 481,102
SW1 ACT ACT 19,787
Sub-total Southern Basin 1,792,762
Total for the region 2,019,620

– = Data not available


Specific details of precipitation volumes on individual surface water assets in the MDB region in 2010–11
Water resource plan area

SDL area


Surface water asset

 Volume (ML) for the 2010–11 year 



Condamine–Balonne SS26 Condamine–Balonne Qld Buckinbah Weir1 1,536
Chinchilla Weir1 3,263
Connolly Dam2 513
Cooby Creek Reservoir2 4,136
Jack Taylor Weir1 1,787
Lake Kajarabie1  17,277
Lake Leslie1  10,370
Moolabah Weir1 695
Neil Turner Weir2 97
Qld Border Rivers SS24 Qld Border Rivers Qld Glenlyon Lake1 14,126
Lake Coolmunda1  13,583
Storm King Dam2 1,486
NSW Border Rivers SS23 NSW Border Rivers NSW Lake Inverell2  407
Pindari Lake1 9,391
Tenterfield Creek2 345
Gwydir SS22 Gwydir NSW Lake Copeton1  24,858
Tareelaroi Weir1 351
Namoi  SS21 Namoi  NSW Chaffey Dam1 5,941
Dungowen2 644
Gunidgera Weir1 355
Lake Keepit1  26,457
Mollee Weir1 358
Quipolly Dam2 932
Split Rock Reservoir1 5,627
Macquarie–Castlereagh SS20 Macquarie–Castlereagh NSW Chifley Dam2 2,489
Lake Burrendong1  61,287
Lake Oberon2  4,472
Lake Windamere1  9,558
Rylstone Reservoir2 850
Spring Creek Reservoir2 1,123
Suma Park Reservoir2 2,036
Timor Dam2 258
Winburndale Dam2 250
Northern Basin 226,858
Lachlan  SS16 Lachlan  NSW Carcoar Lake1 2,053
Lake Brewster1  28,179
Lake Cargelligo1  10,445
Lake Endeavour2  525
Lake Rowlands2  966
Lake Wyangala1  35,059
Murrumbidgee NSW SS15 Murrumbidgee NSW NSW Berembed Weir1 465
Blowering Reservoir1 59,379
Gogeldrie Weir1 770
Hay Weir1 1,515
Lake Burrinjuck1  54,355
Maude Weir1 484
Redbank Weir2 121
Tombullen Storage1 405
NSW Murray and Lower Darling SS18 Lower Darling NSW Lake Cawndilla1  76,226
Lake Menindee1  100,897
Lake Victoria1  71,435
Lake Wetherell1  48,410
Pamamaroo Lake1 44,562
Stephens Creek Reservoir2 4,552
SS14 NSW Murray NSW Lake Hume1  238,262
Upstream Of Lock 7 (Rufus)2 1,325
Upstream Of Lock 8 (Wangumma)2 1,869
Upstream Of Lock 9 (Kulnine)2 2,949
Upstream Of Lock 10 (Wentworth)2 2,808
Upstream Of Lock 15 (Euston)2 27,346
Vic Murray SS3 Kiewa Vic Lake Guy2  238
Rocky Valley Storage2 6,399
Northern Victoria SS4 Ovens Vic Lake Buffalo1  4,438
Lake William Hovell1 2,257
SS5 Broken Vic Lake Nillahcootie1  7,021
SS6  Goulburn  Vic Goulburn Weir 1 6,840
Greens Lake1 7,140
Lake Eildon1  129,139
Waranga Basin1 47,603
SS7 Campaspe Vic Campaspe Weir2 226
Lake Eppalock1  28,583
Lauriston Reservoir2 2,929
Malmsbury Reservoir2 3,939
Upper Coliban Reservoir2 3,807
SS8 Loddon Vic Barkers Creek Reservoir2 781
Cairn Curran Reservoir1 16,435
Crusoe Reservoir2 346
Evansford Reservoir2 313
Hepburn Lagoon2 1,384
Kow Swamp2 16,314
Laanecoorie Reservoir 1 775
Mccay2 232
Newlyn Reservoir 1 315
Sandhurst Reservoir2 369
Spring Gully Reservoir2 454
Tullaroop Reservoir1 6,692
Vic Murray SS2 Vic Murray Vic Kangaroo/Racecourse Lake2 7,576
Lake Banimboola2  922
Lake Dartmouth1  72,524
Lake Mulwala1 24,336
Mildura Weir2  354
Reedy/Middle Lake2 2,554
Third Lake2 1,460
Torrumbarry Weir1 3,850
Upstream Of Lake Mulwala2 16,132
Upstream Of Mildura Weir2 12,535
Wimmera–Mallee SS9 Wimmera–Mallee  Vic Lake Bellfield1  3,793
Lake Fyans1  3,585
Lake Lonsdale1  17,576
Lake Taylor1  3,848
Lake Whitton2  516
Toolondo Reservoir1 47
Wartook Reservoir1 9,934
SA Murray SS11 SA Murray SA Blanchetown Weir – Lock 11 3,553
Bookpurnong Weir – Lock 41 2,042
Lake Albert1 94,454
Lake Alexandrina1 354,477
Overland Weir – Lock 31 3,935
Renmark Weir – Lock 51 2,155
Upstream Of Lock 6 (Murtho)2 3,539
Upstream Of Lake Alexandrina2 13,879
Waikerie Weir – Lock 21 3,068
ACT SS1 ACT ACT Bendora Dam1 1,275
Corin Dam1 4,498
Cotter Dam1 405
Googong Reservoir1 6,282
Lake Burley Griffin 2 5,477
Lake Ginninderra2  1,061
Lake Tuggeranong2 789
Southern Basin 1,792,762
Total for the region 2,019,620

1 Dynamic surface area used

2 Static surface area used (based on boundaries defined for surface water bodies in Bureau of Meteorology (the Bureau)'s Australian Hydrological Geospatial Fabric).


Quantification Approach

Data Source

The Bureau: (1) Australian Water Availability Project (AWAP) monthly precipitation grids, (2) Australian Hydrological Geospatial Fabric (AHGF) waterbody feature class, and (3) Australian Water Resources Information System (AWRIS) water storage.

Provided by

The Bureau.


Monthly precipitation data was produced by the Bureau. It was based on daily data from approximately 6,500 rain gauge stations and interpolated to a 0.05 degree (approximately 5 km) national grid (Jones et al. 2007).

The precipitation at each waterbody was estimated from the proportionally weighted average of grid points that intersected each water feature. The volume was then estimated using the surface area of each waterbody. The surface area varied dynamically with changing level for storages, lakes and weirs where the relationship between storage level and surface area had been derived.

In the MDB region, precipitation on the surface water store included the precipitation falling on the water bodies mentioned in the supporting information.

Assumptions, Limitations, Caveats and Approximations

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

 The dynamic storage surface areas calculated from the levels and capacity tables represent a monthly average and therefore will not capture changes that occur on a shorter temporal scale.

The use of the static default AHGF surface area is an approximation only. It represents the lakes at capacity and therefore likely results in an overestimation of precipitation on the lake.

Uncertainty Information

Derived from estimated data. The uncertainty estimate was not quantified.

Comparative year

This line item corresponds to line item 13.1 Precipitation on connected surface water, reported in the 2010 Account. In the 2011 Account, the following changes were made that caused the 2009–10 year value to be restated:

  • The scope of the line item was changed.

  • An error correction was made to the values reported in the 2010 Account.

The changes and their respective values are detailed in the following table.


Restatement of comparative year information made for the line item 9.1 Precipitation on surface water
2010 Account line items


Volume for the 2009–10 year reported in the 2010 Account (ML)

Difference due to prior period error correction and scope change (ML)

Volume for the 2009–10 year reported in the 2011 Account (ML)

13.1 Precipitation on connected surface water Northern Basin




Southern Basin




Whole region





Scope change was due to the following reasons:

  • Lake Mokoan, Lake Batyo Catyo, Pine Lake, Dock Lake and Green Lake (included in the 2010 Account) were excluded for the 2011 Account.  Information for Lake Mokoan was not available.  Qualification of other four storages as surface water asset was not verified at the data collection phase for the 2011 Account (they were considered as abandoned after the construction of Wimmera pipeline).  For the 2012 Account, these storages will be investigated for their inclusion.
  • Regulated river reaches upstream of Lock 10 and Lock 15 in the River Murray were included for the 2011 Account.

Prior period error correction was due to the following reason:

  • Barren Box Swamp was included in the 2010 Account.  However, it is not a surface water asset for the 2011 Account because this storage is located in a water distribution system.  Barren Box Swamp was excluded in the 2011 Account.