Glossary

This glossary defines the key terms used on the water storage site (listed in alphabetical order). To understand these terms, you may wish to refer to the diagram showing the Bureau's conceptual model of a water storage.

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% full

The volume of water in storage as a percentage of the accessible storage capacity. Note that the percentage full may exceed 100% due to floods for example.

Synonym: percentage full

accessible storage capacity

The volume of water that a water storage can hold between the minimum supply level and full supply level; equal to the total storage capacity excluding the dead storage capacity. It is the sum of this capacity that is reported for a collection of water storages. See the water storage diagram for more information.

Synonym: capacity

accessible storage volume

The volume of water stored at a particular time and date. It excludes the dead storage volume and hence is the volume of water that can be accessed under normal circumstances without the installation of additional infrastructure. See the water storage diagram for more information.

Synonym: volume

aggregated volume

The sum of volumes held in water storages that are within a region or associated with a city or system. Each water storage can contribute up to its accessible storage capacity to the aggregated volume. In some cases only a portion of the water in a storage is shared with a city or system.

Related FAQ

Australian height datum (AHD)

The datum that sets mean sea level as zero elevation. Mean sea level was determined from observations recorded by 30 tide gauges around the coast of the Australian continent for the period 1966 – 68. See Geoscience Australia for further information.

capacity

The volume of water that a water storage can hold between the minimum supply level and full supply level; equal to the total storage capacity excluding the dead storage capacity. It is the sum of this capacity that is reported for a collection of water storages. See the water storage diagram for more information.

Synonym: accessible storage capacity

catchment area

The extent of land where water from precipitation drains into the water storage.

date reported – collection of water storages

The date for which the published aggregated volume was calculated.

Related FAQ

date reported – single water storage

The date on which the published measurement was observed.

dead storage capacity

The portion of a water storage’s capacity that is equal to the volume of water below the level of the lowest outlet (the minimum supply level). This water cannot be accessed under normal operating conditions. See the water storage diagram for more information.

drainage division

Representation of the catchments of major surface water drainage systems, generally comprising a number of river basins. In Australia, 12 drainage divisions were first defined in the 1960s by the Australian Water Resources Council. Australian drainage division boundaries were revised by the Bureau in 2010 in line with updates to the Australian Hydrological Geospatial Fabric (Geofabric) digital elevation model.

full supply level (FSL)

The normal maximum operating water level of a water storage when not affected by floods. This water level corresponds to 100% capacity. See the water storage diagram for more information.

ha

The abbreviation for hectare; one hectare is equal to an area of 10 000 square metres.

inflowing watercourses

The rivers and streams that flow into a water storage. If a water storage is not located on a watercourse it is referred to as being off stream.

m

The abbreviation for metre(s).

mAHD

The abbreviation for elevation in metres with respect to the Australian Height Datum.

major storage

Any water storage that has a total storage capacity of 1000 million litres or more.

minimum supply level (MSL)

The lowest water level to which a water storage can be drawn down (0% full) with existing outlet infrastructure; typically equal to the level of the lowest outlet, the lower limit of accessible storage capacity. See the water storage diagram for more information.

ML

The abbreviation for megalitre. One megalitre is equal to one million litres.

percentage full

The volume of water in storage as a percentage of the accessible storage capacity. Note that the percentage full may exceed 100% due to floods for example.

Synonym: % full

surface area

The area of the water surface, typically measured when the water storage is at full supply level.

total storage capacity

The entire volume of water contained by the water storage at full supply level; equal to the sum of the accessible storage capacity plus the dead storage capacity. See the water storage diagram for more information.

volume

The volume of water stored at a particular time and date. It excludes the dead storage volume and hence is the volume of water that can be accessed under normal circumstances without the installation of additional infrastructure. See the water storage diagram for more information.

Synonym: accessible storage volume

water depth

The height of water in a water storage at a particular time and date measured from the minimum supply level. See the water storage diagram for more information.

water level

The elevation of the water surface at a particular time and date, measured relative to a specified datum, typically the Australian Height Datum (AHD). See the water storage diagram for application with respect to water storages.

water storage

A hydrological feature in which water is stored. Surface water storages include natural and man-made ponds, lakes, reservoirs and lagoons, also the bodies of water held behind weirs and dams.

year of completion

The year when the water storage structure was completed, as advised by the water storage owner or operator.

Water Storage Diagram Full Supply Level Minimum Supply Level Accessible Volume Dead Storage Accessible Storage Capacity Total Storage Capacity Observed Storage Level Water Depth

For other terms used on the Bureau website, please refer to the Bureau Glossary.


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