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Weather and climate monitoring

To a large degree, our climate dictates the amount of groundwater and surface water resources in our state. Rainfall events recharge (or refill) our groundwater aquifers and increase flows in our rivers, while evaporation rates, wind and temperatures influence how much water is lost to the atmosphere.

Rainfall and other meteorological parameters are monitored to support our understanding of the water cycle in our region, and how this cycle is changing over time. Identifying trends in these parameters and developing an understanding of what our future water resources will look like allows us to plan for future scenarios and better manage our water resources sustainably.

We monitor 156 meteorological sites across the state. These sites use rainfall gauges and/or automatic weather stations to monitor the accumulated level of precipitation, wind speed and direction, air temperature, humidity and barometric pressure.

Regional water data

The meteorological sites are distributed across all eight natural resources regions. They provide data that supports water, hazard and land management decisions throughout the state. When integrated with Bureau of Meteorology (BOM) meteorological sites in key agricultural areas, our sites provide a better resolution of climate data. Armed with this knowledge, land managers can make operational decisions such as the timing of planting, and the timing and quantity of irrigation.

For automatic weather station information in your area, select your region:

Rainfall monitoring

Rainfall is monitored using automated gauges called pluviometers. These devices use a pair of alternately tipping buckets that capture a known quantity of rainfall, before emptying into a small storage. The number of tips is recorded which provides information on rainfall over time and rainfall intensity.

Our pluviometers are capable of recording rainfall events in fractions of millimetres per hour. The instruments are calibrated regularly by field staff, who compare the recorded number of tips with the quantity of water in the storage. This ensures high confidence in the accuracy of the data.