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Amendments to Water Regulations 2008
Improving Australia's climate record
Big wet in New South Wales
Farewell La Niña
Big picture for the Great Barrier Reef in sight
Geofabric webinar draws a crowd
Water storage expands

Climate and Water briefing presentations

The April 2012 National Climate and Water Briefing presentations are now available on the Bureau’s website.
The Bureau’s Assistant Director Neil Plummer and Dr Karl Braganza joined Dr Michael Raupach from CSIRO to present the newest analysis of climate variability and change in Australia.

Water storage levels

Map of Australia showing water storage icons

  Latest Previous year
  % full % full
Australia 81.7% 74.0% 
ACT 99.0% 94.8%
NSW 83.5% 68.8%
NT 97.4% 99.2%
Qld 96.3% 97.5% 
SA 93.3% 91.5%
Tas 67.9% 58.1%
Vic 77.7% 70.9%
WA 94.0% 93.4%
Capital cities Latest Previous year
Adelaide 47.1% 68.0%
Brisbane 88.9% 90.0%
Canberra 99.6% 97.7%
Darwin 97.4% 99.2%
Hobart 97.6% 99.7%
Melbourne 64.7% 53.3%
Perth 21.9% 16.9%
Sydney 94.7% 73.7%
Bureau of Meteorology
Mailing Address:
Bureau of Meteorology
Communication Section
700 Collins St
Docklands, Victoria 3008
     May 2012 Australian Government Bureau of Meteorology

Amendments to Water Regulations 2008

On 10 May 2012, the Governor-General amended the water information provisions of the Water Regulations 2008.
Changes have been made to each of the ten water information categories to enhance the quality and usefulness of water information received by the Bureau.
Most of the changes will take effect on 5 July 2012, except for the amendment relating to a new Person Category (Category J – Owners or Operators of Hydrologically Significant Sites) which will not come into effect before 2013.
The amendments were drafted following consultation undertaken in 2011. Many of the comments received through this consultation were incorporated into the amendments.

Read about the Water Regulations 2008 amendments
Access the full amendments
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Improving Australia's climate record


On 23 March 2012, World Meteorological Day, the Bureau officially released its updated and improved Australian temperature dataset.

Known as the Australian Climate Observations Reference Network – Surface Air Temperature (ACORN-SAT) the new dataset was developed to monitor and analyse long-term climate variability and change in Australia.

 Read more

Big wet in New South Wales

  Picture of Wagga Wagga, courtesy of NSW SESTwelve hundred flood warnings and watches, 2350 flood predictions and more than 6500 property evacuation orders: these are some of the staggering numbers from the widespread flooding in New South Wales since November 2011.
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Farewell La Niña

  12-month rainfall deciles to 30 April 2012The 2011–12 La Niña ended in March, following the second successive summer in which La Niña contributed to significant rain and flooding across many parts of Australia.

The period from April 2010 to March 2012 was Australia’s wettest two-year period ever recorded. Despite its demise, ocean temperatures around parts of Australia remain very warm, and hence above-average rainfall is still forecast for some regions.

So with La Nina finished, what can we expect next?
 Read more

Big picture for the Great Barrier Reef in sight

  Snapshot from the near real-time hydrodynamic model of the Great Barrier Reef showing sea-surface salinity and surface currents. Image provided by CSIROThe Great Barrier Reef is set to be seen in a new way. eReefs is an innovative project that will allow people to find information about why and how the Reef is changing and what could happen into the future.

eReefs is a collaborative project that will provide for the Reef information akin to that provided for weather. It will span the entire Reef from catchment to ocean, aid decision-making, and improve communication and reporting using pictures and maps.

eReefs will provide interactive information at scales and detail previously unavailable. It is a significant step in building comprehensive, national coastal information systems.

Read more about eReefs

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Geofabric webinar draws a crowd

  Example of Geofabric outputMore than 100 people from throughout Australia joined our inaugural Geofabric webinars recently.

Participants dialled in via computers and phones to see an onscreen presentation and demonstration, ask questions, submit comments and contribute to discussions.

The technology proved an excellent way for Bureau Geofabric experts, Elizabeth McDonald and Malcolm Parnell, to demonstrate how to download and set up Geofabric data in an ArcGIS environment. They showed participants how to calculate rainfall statistics for a specified catchment area, and responsed to questions throughout.

A recording of the webinar is freely available on our website.
Access the Geofabric
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Water storage expands

Screen shot of Water Storage productThe Bureau continues to expand the coverage of Water Storage, with data from a twentieth provider recently added.
Lake Awoonga in Queensland is the latest addition thanks to the support of the Gladstone Area Water Board. Water levels and stored volumes in Lake Awoonga are now available through the Water Storage webpage and iPhone app.
 Read more
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