Flood Warning Infrastructure Standard

The National Flood Warning Infrastructure Working Group has developed a draft Standard for Flood Warning Infrastructure.

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. This has led to a number of issues, including lack of interoperability between instruments and data communication technologies, poor siting 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.

Report on industry consultation

The draft Standard was made available for industry consultation from 1 June to 31st August 2018. The consultation was formally launched at the 2018 Flooplain 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. There were four broad themes in the feedback:

  • Style i.e. performance vs prescriptive
  • Content i.e. specific comment or advice on aspects of the standard
  • Presentation, including language, definition, terminology and layout
  • Application i.e. useability of the standard

Download a full copy of the Consultation Report.

The Standard has been substantially revised in response to feedback. This includes 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.

Public Consultation period open

The public consultation period for the Flood Warning Infrastructure Standard has opened. Comments will be received until 10th June 2019.

How to contribute

Submissions may address any part of the Standard. Submissions might include:

  • Suggested improvements, particularly relevant examples
  • Any other issues or errors with the standard

You can provide your feedback by emailing the Bureau at NFWI.standards@bom.gov.au.

What will happen next?

The Flood Warning Infrastructure Working Group secretariat is managing the public consultation process. Following the consultation period the Flood Warning Infrastructure Standards Technical Advisory Group (Standards TAG) will review all comments and submissions and develop the final Standard. A Consultation Report will summarise the consultation and the input from the public.

The Working Group will seek endorsement of the Standard by the ANZEMC in August 2019.

How will the Standard be used?

The Standard is non-mandatory and describe 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.

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