Water Regulations Background

The Australian Government's Improving Water Information Program is a ten-year initiative begun in July 2007. It is part of Water for the Future giving national leadership for water reform in Australia.

In 2007, Australia's water information base was in poor shape and deteriorating because of a lack of investment and inefficiencies in the way it was managed across more than 200 different data collecting agencies nationwide.

Improving Water Information provides additional funding to the Bureau of Meteorology to develop a national water information service. It will accurately monitor, assess and forecast the availability, condition and use of our water resources.

The Water Act 2007 gives the Bureau of Meteorology water information powers and functions in addition to its weather and climate functions. These extra functions include:

  • collecting, holding, managing, interpreting and disseminating Australia's water information
  • providing regular reports on the status of Australia's water resources and patterns of usage of those resources
  • providing regular forecasts on the future availability of Australia's water resources
  • compiling and maintaining water accounts for Australia, including a National Water Account

To enable the Bureau to perform these functions, the Act requires certain organisations to give water information to the Bureau.

Why improve water information?

The aim of improving water information is to create a solid foundation for future water policies and management actions.

Other benefits expected from the program include:

  • increased transparency of water information underpinning water policies and management decisions
  • consistent national information to benchmark the performance of managed water systems
  • public disclosure of water entitlements, allocations, trades and use, improving the performance of water markets
  • improved water availability forecasts, leading to greater certainty in water resources planning
  • improved community understanding of water resources management


To see how the program has developed view our annual progress reports.

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