Flood Warning Infrastructure Standard

The Flood Warning Infrastructure Standard developed by the National Flood Warning Infrastructure Working Group has been endorsed by the Australia-New Zealand Emergency Management Committee (ANZEMC).

Accurate near-real-time data are essential for preparing effective and specific flood forecasts and warnings. Australian flood forecasting and warning services rely on over 100 different organisations to collect, measure, record, send, receive, store and display rainfall and river level data. In many cases the flood warning infrastructure that supports the service has been adapted from other purposes. Historically, this has posed several difficulties, including incompatibility of instruments and data-communication technologies, ineffectual choice of sites, and inadequate redundancy.

The Flood Warning Infrastructure Standard will improve data accuracy, interoperability, resilience and latency, and reduce life cycle costs. Fundamentally, the Standard will provide guidance on fit-for-purpose flood warning infrastructure based on non-mandatory industry-recommended performance requirements.

The scope of the Standard includes flood warning infrastructure from field instruments and communications equipment, through to the data ingestion software for receiving, storing and displaying real-time flood data. The Standard applies to new and existing infrastructure required for warning services for riverine and flash flooding.

How will the Standard be used?

The Standard is non-mandatory and describes the performance requirements for infrastructure which is fit-for-flood warning purposes. The Standard provides a set of performance requirements which will be valuable for describing specifications for new infrastructure and assessing existing infrastructure. Supporting tools and documents will be developed to facilitate assessment of current infrastructure against the Standard.

Will the Standard be updated?

In conjunction with flood warning consultative committees, the Bureau will maintain the Standard and periodically review its content as required. Additionally, the Water Monitoring Standardisation Technical Committee (WaMSTeC), comprised of over 25 industry organisations that share an interest in advancing consistent water information standards at the national level, regularly review, promote, and call for consultation on standards and guidelines.

Standards development

The Flood Warning Infrastructure Standard was developed by the Standards Technical Advisory Group (TAG). The TAG was established to provide expert advice to the National Flood Warning Infrastructure Working Group.

The development process included two periods of consultation.

The draft Standard was made available for industry consultation from 1st June to 31st August 2018. The consultation was formally launched at the 2018 Floodplain Management Association Conference. The draft Standard was made available on the Bureau website and activities undertaken to make industry aware that it was available for comment.

Written submissions were received from 17 parties. A number of these were consolidated responses from organisations with multiple contributors. In total 272 individual comments were provided. Download a full copy of the Consultation Report.

The Standard was substantially revised in response to feedback. This included resolving technical/factual matters, reformatting, improving examples and simplifying language. The revised version of the Standard is now available for a final round of feedback.

The revised draft standard was made available for public comment from 10 May to 10 June 2019. Minor comments were received, and the draft standard was revised accordingly.

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