Issued: 31 May 2023
The Bureau of Meteorology has added new features to the Murray–Darling Basin Water Information Portal, including information about groundwater levels and groundwater trade, and even more interactive river diagrams of major Basin catchments.
The portal brings together current and historical information, which users can search by town, storage, river, catchment or current location.
The portal is designed to support Basin water users and communities through greater transparency and better access to water information. It provides a central source of Basin-wide information in one easy-to-use online platform.
It includes customisable data about water availability, water in storages, streamflow, groundwater, allocation volumes, water take, water markets, water quality, and rainfall and soil moisture for the Basin.
The latest new features are part of version 4 of the Portal, which is being developed over 5 main version releases rolled out over three years.
The Bureau is regularly updating the portal in response to user feedback. For version 4, this community-led design process also resulted in the addition of:
· groundwater levels for nearly 100 representative bores
· groundwater trade information
· new river diagrams for the Border Rivers system, comprising the New South Wales Border Rivers, Queensland Border Rivers and Moonie catchments, and for the northern Victoria river system, comprising the Ovens, Broken, Goulburn, Campaspe and Loddon catchments. In one view, users can see how the rivers in a catchment are connected and how the water is flowing through key storages and river gauges.
· a ‘what’s new’ section highlighting Portal updates.
Bureau of Meteorology General Manager of Agriculture and Water, Matthew Coulton, said the data on groundwater levels for representative bores shows the impact of groundwater use and recharge on water levels in aquifers, and the data on groundwater trade complements the surface water trade information already available in the Portal.
This information is an important early contribution to the delivery of the Australian Government’s Water Market Reform Roadmap, by making water trade information more accessible.
Mr Coulton said the Murray–Darling Basin Water Information Portal has been designed in consultation with Basin communities and the Bureau will continue to seek feedback throughout the development of each version to ensure it meets user needs.
“There is a diverse range of people living in the Basin and the Bureau is aiming to create a product that meets diverse needs. The Bureau is taking a community-led approach to designing the platform to meet the needs of Basin communities, farmers, local councils, tourism and other local businesses, recreational water users and educators”, he said.
The portal is being developed by the Bureau in partnership with the Murray–Darling Basin Authority, the Department of Climate Change, Energy, the Environment and Water, and Basin state governments. It was launched in June 2021 and version 5 will be released at the end of 2023, with further information and features to be added into 2024.
To stay up to date with the latest forecast and warnings, communities should check the Bureau’s website or the BOM Weather app, and for what to do before, during and after severe weather, follow all advice from local emergency services.