Seasonal Streamflow Forecasts


About Seasonal Streamflow Forecasts

Australian streamflows are among the most variable in the world. These streamflows are relied upon by a range of water managers and users, including irrigators, urban and rural water supply authorities, environmental managers and hydroelectricity generators. Seasonal Streamflow Forecasts will help water managers and key water users improve their water management and decision making capability.

You can learn more about the forecasts by watching the Seasonal Streamflow video or reading the product fact sheet.

Reliable Seasonal Streamflow Forecasts for weeks to several months ahead can influence important decisions such as:

  • water allocations
  • cropping strategies
  • water market planning
  • environmental watering
  • operating a diversified water supply scheme
  • restricting water supply
  • managing drought.

Seasonal Streamflow Forecasts complement the Bureau seasonal rainfall outlook and seasonal temperature outlook.

The Bureau Seasonal Streamflow Forecasts rely on new statistical and dynamic modelling approaches, currently being developed by the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) under the Water Information Research and Development Alliance (WIRADA).

The statistical approach is based on the Bayesian Joint Probability modelling system. The model uses statistical relationships between climate indicators, past catchment conditions and historical rainfall and streamflow at a site to forecast its future streamflow.

With the dynamic modelling approach, future streamflows are forecast by applying climate predictions from global climate models to hydrological models. Further details on the dynamic modelling approach can be found in the Experimental evaluation of the dynamic seasonal streamflow forecasting approach.

All forecasts contain uncertainty due to a range of factors. Information on the amount of uncertainty associated with each forecast is provided to users by using probabilistic forecasts and historical assessments of forecast skill.


Service level expectations

The seasonal streamflow forecasting team will aim to:

  • Release new three month seasonal forecasts by the 7th working day of each month
  • Re-release a forecast if an error is discovered or there has been a significant correction to the input data
  • Respond to requests for information within two working days of the receipt of the request
  • Work with user stakeholders to review and report on forecast performance and ensure the service is matching the user's needs (where the state of science allows)
  • Work with CSIRO and other research partners to improve the modelling and forecasting skill in seasonal forecasting
  • Add new forecast sites based on user need and considering when the modelling is providing the appropriate skill
  • Investigate forecasting for different time scales eg. monthly and multi-seasons
  • Re-validate the forecast models every 12 months with the latest available data

Forecast sites driven by user needs

The forecast sites have been selected based on user need, data availability and forecasts skill. The forecast sites include many important storages and irrigation areas in Victoria, NSW, the ACT and Queensland.

The following table describes the relationship between the forecast sites and downstream storages and irrigation areas. It also provides an indication of the use for the water in the storages and the stakeholder that has been involved in providing data and forecast verification.

Forecast Site Description Data Owner Relationship to Storage/Irrigation Area Water Use
Unregulated inflow to Hume Dam MDBA Inflow to Hume Dam Urban water supply, irrigation, environmental flow, hydro-electric power
Total inflow to Dartmouth Dam MDBA Inflow to Dartmouth Dam Irrigation, domestic and stock, hydro-electric power
Total flow of Kiewa River to Murray River MDBA Inflow to Yarrawonga Weir Irrigation, domestic and stock
Total flow of Ovens River to Murray River MDBA Inflow to Yarrawonga Weir Irrigation, domestic and stock
Gibbo River at Gibbo Park MDBA Inflow to Dartmouth Dam Irrigation, domestic and stock, hydro-electric power
Total inflow to Lake Eildon G-MW Inflow to Lake Eildon Irrigation, domestic and stock
Unregulated inflow to Goulburn Weir G-MW Inflow to Goulburn Weir Irrigation, domestic and stock
Total inflow to Cairn Curran Reservoir G-MW Inflow to Cairn Curran Reservoir Irrigation, domestic and stock
Total inflow to Lake Eppalock G-MW Inflow to Lake Eppalock Irrigation, domestic and stock
Total inflow to Tullaroop Reservoir G-MW Inflow to Tullaroop Reservoir Irrigation, domestic and stock
Total inflow to Lake Nillahcootie G-MW Inflow to Lake Nillahcootie Irrigation, domestic and stock
Acheron River at Taggerty DEPI VIC Inflow to Goulburn Weir Irrigation, domestic and stock
Delatite River at Tonga Bridge DEPI VIC Inflow to Lake Eildon Irrigation, domestic and stock
Goulburn River at Dohertys DEPI VIC Inflow to Lake Eildon Irrigation, domestic and stock
Mitta Mitta River at Hinnomunjie DEPI VIC Inflow to Dartmouth Dam Irrigation, domestic and stock, hydro-electric power
Murray River at Biggara OEH NSW Inflow to Hume Dam Urban water supply, irrigation, environmental flow, hydro-electric power
Goodradigbee River at Wee Jasper (Kashmir) OEH NSW Inflow to Burrinjuck Dam Urban water supply, irrigation, environmental flow, hydro-electric power
Adjungbilly Creek at Darbalara OEH NSW Inflow to the Murrumbidgee Irrigation Area Irrigation
Goobarragandra River at Lacmalac OEH NSW Inflow to the Murrumbidgee Irrigation Area Irrigation
Adelong Creek at Batlow Rd OEH NSW Inflow to the Murrumbidgee Irrigation Area Irrigation
Cotter River at Gingera ACTEW Water Inflow to Corin Dam Water supply for Canberra
Queanbeyan River at Tinderry ACTEW Water Inflow to Googong Dam Water supply for Canberra
Gudgenby at Tennent Environment ACT Inflow to Googong Dam Water supply for Canberra
Richmond River at Wiangaree OEH NSW Inflow to Richmond River Estuary Irrigation, domestic, stock and industry
Nowendoc River at Rocks Crossing OEH NSW Inflow to Bootawa Dam Irrigation, domestic, stock and industry
Shoalhaven River at Warri OEH NSW Inflow to Tallowa Dam (also called Lake Yarrunga) Hydro-electric power
Maragle Creek at Maragle OEH NSW Inflow to Murray Irrigation Area Irrigation, domestic and stock
Jingellic Creek at Jingellic OEH NSW Inflow to Murray Irrigation Area Irrigation, domestic, stock and industry
Muttama Creek at Coolac OEH NSW Inflow to the Murrumbidgee Irrigation Area Irrigation
Tarcutta Creek at Old Borambola OEH NSW Inflow to the Murrumbidgee Irrigation Area Irrigation and stock
Tarcutta Creek at Westbrook NSW OoW Inflow to the Murrumbidgee Irrigation Area Irrigation and stock
Abercrombie River at Hadley No.2 OEH NSW Inflow to Wyangala Dam Irrigation and urban water supply
Halls Creek at Bingara OEH NSW Inflow to the Gwydir Wetlands Irrigation, stock and environmental flow
Turon River at Sofala OEH NSW Inflow to Burrendong Dam Hydro-electric power
Coxs River at Island Hill OEH NSW Inflow to Warragamba Dam The major water storage for Sydney, hydro-electric power
Abercrombie River at Abercrombie OEH NSW Inflow to Wyangala Dam Irrigation and urban water supply
Boorowa River at Prossers Crossing OEH NSW Inflow a large area of irrigated agriculture Irrigation
Kyeamba Creek at Ladysmith OEH NSW Inflow to the Murrumbidgee Irrigation Area Irrigation
Namoi River at North Cuerindi OEH NSW Irrigation and urban water supply
Barnard River at Barry OEH NSW Inflow to Bootawa Dam Irrigation, domestic, stock and industry
Tuross River at Tuross Vale OEH NSW Inflow to Tuross Lake Irrigation and oyster farming
Wollomombi River at Coninside OEH NSW Inflow to Fattorini Dam Urban water supply and grazing
Gwydir River at Yarrowyck NSW OoW Inflow to Copeton Dam Irrigation, stock and domestic
Ovens River at Bright DEPI VIC Inflow to Yarrawonga Weir Irrigation, domestic and stock
Tambo River at Swifts Creek DEPI VIC Inflow to Lake King Irrigation, stock and environmental flow
Wonnangatta River at Waterford DEPI VIC Inflow to Gippsland Lakes Irrigation, domestic and stock
Latrobe River at Willow Grove DEPI VIC Inflow to Lake Wellington Industry and environmental flow
Snowy Creek at below Granite Flat DEPI VIC Inflow to a large agricultural area Irrigation and stock
Fifteen Mile Creek at Greta South DEPI VIC Inflow to agricultural area Irrigation, domestic and stock
Barron River at Picnic Crossing DNRM Inflow to Tinaroo Falls Dam Irrigation, urban water supply and Barron Falls power station
Burdekin River at Sellheim DNRM Inflow to Burdekin Falls Dam (also called Lake Dalrymple) Irrigation, urban and industrial water supply
Herbert River at Abergowrie DNRM Irrigation and urban water supply
Tinana Creek at Tagigan Road DNRM Inflow to Teddington Weir Irrigation and urban water supply
Stanley River at Peachester DNRM Inflow to Somerset Dam Inflow to Wivenhoe Dam
Brisbane River at Gregors Creek DNRM Inflow to Wivenhoe Dam Urban water supply
Coen River at Coen Racecourse DNRM Grazing
Porcupine Creek at Mt Emu Plains DNRM Inflow to Flinders Dam Grazing
Diglum Creek at Marlua GAWB Inflow to Awoonga Dam Industrial and urban water supply
Blencoe Creek at Blencoe Falls DNRM Irrigation and urban water supply
Elizabeth Ck at Mt Surprise DNRM Grazing
Emu Creek at Emu Vale DNRM Inflow to Talgai, Lemon Tree and Yarramolong Weirs Grazing, horticulture, agriculture and town water
Burnett Ck at Upstream Maroon Dam DNRM Inflow to Maroon Dam Urban water supply and stock
Wild River at Silver Valley DNRM Irrigation and urban water supply
Coalseam Creek at Laura River DNRM Irrigation
Swan Ck at Swanfels DNRM Inflow to Talgai, Lemon Tree and Yarramolong Weirs Grazing, horticulture, agriculture and town water
Bloomfield River at China Camp DNRM Irrigation and urban water supply
Running Creek at Dieckmans Bridge DNRM Inflow to Cedar Grove Weir and Bromelton Offstream Storage facility Urban water supply
Canungra Creek at Main Road Bridge DNRM Irrigation
Gregory River at Riversleigh DNRM Stock
McArthur River Upstream of Bailey's Grave LRM Irrigation and stock

Acronym Organisation Name
OEH NSW The Office of Environment and Heritage, New South Wales
DEPI VIC Department of Environment and Primary Industries, Victoria
G-MW Goulburn-Murray Water
MDBA Murray-Darling Basin Authority
DNRM Department of Natural Resources and Mines, Queensland
NSW OoW New South Wales Office of Water
ACTEW Water ACTEW Corporation
Enviroment ACT Environment and Sustainable Development Directorate
LRM Department of Land Resource Management, Northern Territory
GAWB Gladstone Area Water Board

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