National Water Account 2018

South East Queensland: Outlook for 2019 Account

as at 20 February 2019

  • Rainfall was mostly below average across the region during the 2018–19 year to date; below-average rainfall is expected for the remainder of the year.
  • Storage levels at 30 June 2019 are expected to be less than the same time last year.
  • Water use is expected to be higher than last year due to the dry conditions.

 

Diagram showing expected rainfall, storage and water use conditions for the South East Queensland for the 2018–19 year.

 

For further information on the expected inflows and future commitments for the region during the 2018–19 year scroll down this page.

 

Future prospects

Figure S20 Water outlook for the South east Queensland region for 2018–19

Figure S20 Water outlook for the South East Queensland region for 2018–19

 

  • Ouflow and discharges from the region's storages are expected to exceed inflows, which is likely to result in a decrease in water assets at the end of the year.

 

Expected inflows


Figure S21 Financial year-to-date and monthly rainfall deciles for the South East Queensland region during the 2018–19 year

 

  • Total rainfall over the 2018–19 year to date was below average across most of the region.
  • Rainfall in January 2019 was well below average, and lowest on record for that month in some areas throughout the southern part of the region.
  • Well above-average rainfall occurred in October 2018 across most of the region; all other months had average to below-average rainfall.

 


Figure S22 Storage levels for the South East Queensland region during the 2018–19 year so far compared to the same time last year

 

  • Storages were 69% full at 12 February 2019, compared to 73% full at the same time last year.
  • Except for small increases in storage levels in October and December 2018 following rainfall events in these months, storages have generally declined steadily from 79% full at the end of the 2017–18 year.

 

Figure S23 Chance of exceeding median rainfall for the South East Queensland region for March–May 2019
Figure S23 Chance of exceeding median rainfall for the South East Queensland region for March–May 2019

 

  • According to the Bureau of Meteorology's climate outlook (from 14 February 2019), rainfall during the next few months (March–May 2019) is likely to be less than the median for the region.
  • The Bureau's ENSO Outlook is currently at El Niño watch, meaning there is a 50% chance of El Niño developing in autumn.
  • As the majority of the region's rainfall typically occurs over December–March, the below-average rainfall for the year to date combined with the dry outlook means that below-average rainfall conditions are expected for the region for the 2018–19 year.

 

Future commitments

  • Per-capita water use for the South East Queensland Water Grid in January 2019 was the highest since the Millennium Drought due to the dry conditions. Water use for 2018–19 is therefore expected to be higher than the 2017–18 year.