River gauges to provide clearer water data picture

Managing our most precious resource is improving dramatically, thanks to introducing new river gauges across the northern Murray-Darling Basin.

Managing our most precious resource is improving dramatically, thanks to introducing new river gauges across the northern Murray-Darling Basin.

Water management authorities and local communities are now better able to understand how our most precious resource is moving through the system thanks to 20 high-tech river gauges installed or upgraded at critical locations across the Northern Murray-Darling Basin.

The new hydrometric gauging stations provide detailed live information on the volume of flows coming down the rivers. This will help the New South Wales Department of Climate Change, Energy, the Environment and Water (DCCEEW) better understand connectivity, flood risk, and drought preparedness in regional NSW, which is vital in a changing climate.

Importantly, they will also inform the management of water take, assisting decision makers in developing water-sharing plans and compliance across the Barwon Darling, Macquarie, Namoi, Gwydir, and Border Rivers catchments.

“Water is our most precious resource, which is why we are investing in the latest technology that will help to paint a clearer picture of the river system, where the water is going, how much of it is coming in, and whether there are water quality issues we need to be aware of. These river gauges are equipped with state-of-the-art sensors that can detect flow changes in near real time, including on floodplains and for farming,” said New South Wales DCCEEW Chief Knowledge Officer Mitchell Isaacs.

The project is part of the Australian Government’s $35 million Hydrometric Network and Remote Sensing Program, which is being delivered in partnership with the NSW, Queensland, and Australian governments. It also includes collaborating agencies such as the Bureau of Meteorology, WaterNSW, and the Murray–Darling Basin Authority.

The new river gauge site locations were selected through extensive consultation over recent years and collaboration with a panel of experts from government agencies working closely with the community and traditional owners.

“The delivery of the hydrometric stations has been a huge collaborative effort across governments and various agencies, so it’s great to see us hit this milestone, which is a key part of future Basin planning, as well as understanding what’s happening in our rivers and streams right now,” said Mr Isaacs. “We’ve learned a lot over recent years through drought and floods and collectively made an effort to identify knowledge gaps in our monitoring network and address them, and that is exactly what this work has done.”

It followed a detailed review of the existing hydrometric network, identifying knowledge gaps and pinpointing improvement areas.

To view the data, visit Water Insights.

To learn more about the program, visit Enhancing Water Monitoring and Information.

To learn more about the NSW Government’s work in this space, visit the hydrometric network review.

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