Murray–Darling Basin
9.1 Precipitation on surface water

Supporting information

The volumetric value for the line item at the end of the 2011–12 year was 1,648,950 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 2011–12 year
Surface water resource plan area State/Territory  Volume (ML) 


SW19 Warrego–Paroo–Nebine Qld
SW18 Condamine–Balonne Qld 37,831
SW17 Moonie Qld
SW16 Qld Border Rivers Qld 22,184
SW15 NSW Border Rivers NSW 8,189
SW11 Barwon–Darling Watercourse NSW
SW12 NSW Intersecting Streams NSW
SW14 Gwydir NSW 38,143
SW13 Namoi  NSW 59,519
SW10 Macquarie–Castlereagh NSW 81,227
Sub-total Northern Basin 247,093
SW9 Lachlan  NSW 99,576
SW8 Murrumbidgee NSW NSW 104,555
SW7 NSW Murray and Lower Darling NSW 347,907
SW3 Northern Victoria  Vic. 226,663
SW2 Vic. Murray Vic. 148,772
SW4 Wimmera-Mallee  Vic. 29,545
SW6 Eastern Mount Lofty Ranges SA
SW5 SA Murray SA 423,728
SW1 ACT ACT 21,112
Sub-total Southern Basin 1,401,857
Total for the region 1,648,950

– = Data not available


Summary of precipitation volumes on surface water assets in the MDB region in the 2011–12 year
Water resource plan area

Sustainable diversion limit area


Surface water asset

 Volume (ML) for the 2011–12 year 



SW18 Condamine–Balonne SS26 Condamine–Balonne Qld Buckinbah Weir1 1,735
Chinchilla Weir1 1,977
Connolly Reservoir2 260
Cooby Creek Reservoir2 2,337
Jack Taylor Weir1 2,462
Lake Kajarabie1  20,698
Lake Leslie1  7,448
Moolabah Weir1 799
Neil Turner Weir2 114
SW16 Qld Border Rivers SS24 Qld Border Rivers Qld Glenlyon Lake1 11,819
Lake Coolmunda1  9,448
Storm King Reservoir2 916
SW15 NSW Border Rivers SS23 NSW Border Rivers NSW Lake Inverell2  330
Pindari Lake1 7,636
Tenterfield Creek Reservoir 2 224
SW14 Gwydir SS22 Gwydir NSW Lake Copeton1  37,319
Tareelaroi Weir1 824
SW13 Namoi  SS21 Namoi  NSW Chaffey Reservoir1 4,738
Dungowen Reservoir2 469
Gunidgera Weir1 552
Lake Keepit1  39,715
Mollee Weir1 1,073
Quipolly Reservoir2 807
Split Rock Reservoir1 12,164
SW10 Macquarie–Castlereagh SS20 Macquarie–Castlereagh NSW Chifley Reservoir2 2,596
Lake Burrendong1  57,799
Lake Oberon2  4,625
Lake Windamere1  12,369
Rylstone Reservoir2 853
Spring Creek Reservoir2 881
Suma Park Reservoir2 1,614
Timor Reservoir2 227
Winburndale Reservoir2 264
Northern Basin


SW9 Lachlan  SS16 Lachlan  NSW Carcoar Lake1 3,558
Lake Brewster1  39,577
Lake Cargelligo1  8,023
Lake Endeavour2  434
Lake Rowlands2  959
Lake Wyangala1  47,027
SW8 Murrumbidgee NSW SS15 Murrumbidgee NSW NSW Berembed Weir1 735
Blowering Reservoir1 48,351
Gogeldrie Weir1 1,037
Hay Weir1 1,742
Lake Burrinjuck1  50,387
Maude Weir1 646
Redbank Weir2 67
Tombullen Storage1 1,592
SW7 NSW Murray and Lower Darling SS18 Lower Darling NSW Lake Cawndilla1  28,353
Lake Menindee1  37,439
Lake Victoria1  29,963
Lake Wetherell1  19,807
Pamamaroo Lake1 16,796
Stephens Creek Reservoir2 2,938
SS14 NSW Murray NSW Lake Hume1  182,328
Upstream of Lock 7 (Rufus)2 1,176
Upstream of Lock 8 (Wangumma)2 1,576
Upstream of Lock 9 (Kulnine)2 2,676
Upstream of Lock 10 (Wentworth)2 2,749
Upstream of Lock 15 (Euston)2 22,106
SW2 Vic. Murray SS3 Kiewa Vic. Lake Guy2  190
Rocky Valley Storage2 5,693
SW3 Northern Victoria SS4 Ovens Vic. Lake Buffalo1  2,783
Lake William Hovell1 1,520
SS5 Broken Vic. Lake Nillahcootie1  5,384
McCall Say Reservoir1 138
SS6 Goulburn  Vic. Goulburn Weir 1 7,368
Greens Lake1 4,117
Lake Eildon1  121,014
Waranga Basin1 28,963
SS7 Campaspe Vic. Campaspe Weir2 135
Lake Eppalock1  19,542
Lauriston Reservoir2 1,913
Malmsbury Reservoir2 2,467
Upper Coliban Reservoir2 2,559
SS8 Loddon Vic. Barkers Creek Reservoir2 462
Cairn Curran Reservoir1 9,629
Crusoe Reservoir2 188
Evansford Reservoir2 173
Hepburn Lagoon2 888
Kow Swamp2 10,280
Laanecoorie Reservoir 1 2,146
McCay Reservoir2 142
Newlyn Reservoir 1 500
Sandhurst Reservoir2 206
Spring Gully Reservoir2 254
Tullaroop Reservoir1 3,891
SW2 Vic. Murray SS2 Vic. Murray Vic. Kangaroo/Racecourse Lake2 4,048
Lake Banimboola2  717
Lake Dartmouth1  72,718
Lake Mulwala1 28,498
Mildura Weir2  332
Reedy/Middle Lake2 1,355
Third Lake2 772
Torrumbarry Weir1 3,488
Upstream of Lake Mulwala2 21,179
Upstream of Mildura Weir2 9,782
SW4 Wimmera–Mallee SS9 Wimmera–Mallee  Vic. Dock Lake1  2,213
Green Lake 696
Lake Batyo Catyo1 549
Lake Bellfield1  2,594
Lake Fyans1  2,191
Lake Lonsdale1  10,027
Lake Taylor1  1,521
Lake Whitton2  246
Pine Lake 1,191
Toolondo Reservoir1 2,786
Wartook Reservoir1 5,532
SW5 SA Murray SS11 SA Murray SA Blanchetown Weir – Lock 11 4,041
Bookpurnong Weir – Lock 41 2,265
Lake Albert1 76,966
Lake Alexandrina1 310,536
Overland Weir – Lock 31 3,786
Renmark Weir – Lock 51 2,844
Upstream of Lock 6 (Murtho)2 3,752
Upstream of Lake Alexandrina2 16,331
Waikerie Weir – Lock 21 3,208
SW1 ACT SS1 ACT ACT Bendora Reservoir1 1,085
Corin Reservoir1 5,040
Cotter Reservoir1 389
Googong Reservoir1 7,216
Lake Burley Griffin 2 5,525
Lake Ginninderra2  1,061
Lake Tuggeranong2 794
Southern Basin


Total for the region


  1. Dynamic surface area used
  2. Static surface area used (based on boundaries defined for surface water bodies in Bureau of Meteorology's [the Bureau's] Australian hydrological geospatial fabric [AHGF]).


Quantification approach

Data source

The Bureau: (a) National Climate Centre (NCC) daily climate grids (rainfall), (b) AHGF waterbody feature class, and (c) 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; where this relationship was not available the static AHGF surface area was used.

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

The following changes resulted in the restatement of the 2010–11 year volume:

  • error correction
  • scope change.

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


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

2012 Account volume for the 2010–11 year (ML)

2011 Account volume for the 2010–11 year (ML)

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

Northern Basin 226,027 226,858 –831
Southern Basin 1,899,698 1,792,762 106,936
Whole region 2,125,725 2,019,620 106,105

Scope change was due to inclusion of McCall Say Reservoir, Lake Batyo Catyo, Pine Lake, Dock Lake and Green Lake (not included in the 2011 Account) in the 2012 Account. Resulting volume increase due to the scope change for the 2010–11 year is not available.

Prior period error correction was due to a calculation error made in the volumes reported in the 2011 Account. Resulting volume increase for all surface water assets due to the prior period error correction for the 2010–11 year was 106,105 ML, which represents a change of 5% of the previously reported value.