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Real-time water resources information used for water sharing in a Tasmanian irrigation community


Smethurst, PJ and Morrison, B and Almeida, A and Carins, J and Davenport, A and Edeson, G and Ellison, J and Keast, D and Lemon, D and Penton, DJ and Bai, Q and Taylor, P and Worledge, D, Real-time water resources information used for water sharing in a Tasmanian irrigation community, Proceedings of the 36th Hydrology and Water Resources Symposium: The Art and Science of Water, 07-10 December 2015, Hobart, Australia, pp. 932-939. ISBN 9781922107497 (2015) [Refereed Conference Paper]

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For the first time in Tasmania, federated real-time water resources data are being used by a community of irrigators for managing water availability for irrigation and environmental requirements, i.e. in the Ringarooma River catchment, north-east Tasmania. Data include observed weather, soil water, stream flow, and water quality, and daily forecasts of rainfall and stream flow. These data are accessed via a customised website that provides near-real-time information. Irrigators cooperate through a water users group, and aim to avoid flows decreasing below an environmental threshold that would trigger a 'cease-to-take' regulation that may occur during the dry season when irrigation demands are high. At times when there is high risk of a cease-to-take declaration occurring, irrigators coordinate within and outside the group, and with the regulator, to reduce extractions of water from the river and coordinate releases of stored water. Adopting data-driven real-time management has contributed to the avoidance of cease-to-take declarations during the past two years, despite increased irrigation. Several novel aspects of this project include: federating irrigator-relevant data from multiple agencies, daily stream flow forecasts (from the eWater 'Source' model), localised weather forecasts (from a national meteorological model), and a strong community spirit of cooperation in managing water resources and environmental values. This sets a basis for more sophisticated water management, including: sub-catchment water management, and flow predictions that potentially include daily extractions and releases.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Conference Paper
Keywords:adaptive water management, irrigation, river health
Research Division:Environmental Sciences
Research Group:Environmental management
Research Field:Environmental management
Objective Division:Environmental Management
Objective Group:Terrestrial systems and management
Objective Field:Terrestrial systems and management not elsewhere classified
UTAS Author:Morrison, B (Ms Brigid Morrison)
UTAS Author:Edeson, G (Mr Gregor Edeson)
UTAS Author:Ellison, J (Associate Professor Joanna Ellison)
UTAS Author:Keast, D (Mr David Keast)
ID Code:109608
Year Published:2015
Deposited By:Geography and Environmental Studies
Deposited On:2016-06-23
Last Modified:2018-04-04

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