Category Archives: Water

WA Water Corporation can not replace a couple of rain gauges in 2 months

I first saw the notice under the Table at this Water Corporation page on 26 August “rainfall instruments located at Victoria Dam and Mundaring Weir are being serviced and are not currently recording rainfall.” – there was no such notice on 1st August. I emailed the WA Minister for Water on 9 August Subject: “Audit required Perth dams rainfall”.
The Water Corporation notice has not changed in 2 months.
A Water Corporation staffer could have bought a couple of $10 rain gauges at Bunnings – plus a couple of star pickets and in the space of a few hours have functioning rain gauges again at the Mundaring & Victoria dam sites.
It simply beggars belief that in more than 60 days they still say the sites are “…being serviced and are not currently recording rainfall.”

Proof WA Water Corporation does not reliably record rain

After a wet weekend 15th-16th October WA Water Corporation recorded rain at only 2 of their 7 Perth dam rain stations on Monday morning the 17th.
You can check the widespread rain around Perth on 15th and 16th of October just click the Perth region on this AWN map and scroll down noting rain on that weekend.
Now the WA Water Corporation records rain 5 days a week at their dams at this page. I have kept many daily screen shots over several months and often the recording of daily rain by Water Corporation bears little resemblance to rain that we know fell in the district on the preceding day. So clearly the proviso at the bottom of their page about “rangers may not collect rainfall readings daily” is very very true.
In the case we are looking at – the widespread rain on 15th-16th Oct – for 5 of the 7 dam rain stations no rain data was collected up to 6 & 7 days later. Obviously with delays taking rain readings factors like evaporation could make readings less useful with every day that passes – but a week!! If they use electric gauges then they are subject to errors too. I do not know what goes on in Water Corporation but it is imperative that all of their daily rain data be made public so anybody can check how their taxes are being spent.
Table of most weather stations relevant to Perth dams rain – summing up how Water Corporation missed reading most rain on the weekend of 15-16th Oct 2016. Map of BoM rain stations and dam sites.

A week of pages saved from Water Corporation Rainfall at Perth Dams page-
Friday 14th
Monday 17th Rain recorded at Canning & Churchmans but differently – only Water Corp could tally rain in different ways.
Tuesday 18th no change from 17th note the 14.6mm still shows in error at Churchmans
Wednesday 19th – 16.2 recorded at Wungong assumed from weekend
Thursday 20th exactly the same as 19th
Friday 21st 2.4mm added at Wungong
Note my 14 October blog – Obfuscating reply from WA Minister for Water re my call for rainfall audit

Perth dam catchments rainfall – how much is that?

It is obvious that BoM and Water Corporation rain stations are low down in catchments near the various dams –

convenient near roads and easy for staff to monitor. Click on Select Using Map – Large areas of the catchments are not monitored by BoM rainfall stations. In 1997 this contour map showed annual average rain for SW WA – the rain numbers would have been heavily influenced by pre 1975 higher level rainfall. It would be helpful if the WA Govt or BoM could redo the map using post-1975 rainfall – which is vastly more relevant to water supply issues than pining after pre-1975 numbers.
The WA Dept of Food & Agriculture have a www site for their own network of weather stations – which in many cases also report to the BoM pages – for example the daily rain maps.
Last week I noticed that the DAFWA station Glen Eagle near the Albany Highway between the Canning and Wungong catchments has recorded the stunning total of 1280mm for the year to date.

Perhaps it is at a higher altitude – will try and find out. GE only commenced in August 2015 – I assume DAFWA checks the calibration of their instruments.
Here is my table of catchment stations with 2016 rain totals updated through August.

The zeros & blanks need urgent attention from the BoM and some monthly totals from Water Corp need examination.
The WA Dept of Water has a large network of stations in the catchments but most seem to be discontinued. Here is a map of their stations – Set Site Category to Meteorological.

I checked a string along the Brookton Highway and none was current – it is time consuming to check. Who knows what useful data they may have. We need all data public to audit and produce a better record of catchment rain.

Call to audit Perth dam rain gauges – Water Corporation announces two of their rain gauges are down for service

Could not make this up. “Please note the rainfall instruments located at Victoria Dam and Mundaring Weir are being serviced and are not currently recording rainfall. We are working to address this and resume measurement as soon as possible.” Still no reply to any emails to WA Govt on this issue. They must release all their daily rain data so various sources can be compared. On 2nd August I posted – Perth dams rain data is in need of an audit. On 2nd May I posted – West Australian Govt Water Corporation fails to record March 2016 rain at several dams.

Example of error in Bureau of Meteorology rain data

On the weekend I noticed this error in the BoM rain map –

I thought come Monday they will correct this to 9.27mm. Here we are Tuesday and no such luck, the error has gone into their daily rain numbers – presumably to be discovered in checks at a later date, weeks months away. It has also gone into 3rd party sites like AWN

there could be others. It puzzles me that an error as gross as this lives on for 3 days – surely a little robot algorithm could flag outliers way less than this. I thought it was topical in view of my call for an audit of Perth dam catchments rain data.

Melbourne Water amazing wasteful environmental flows when storages were low 2007-2011

“mem” has commented on information at the Melbourne Water web pages – inflows and storages. Using their csv file from the storage page I made this chart.

In March I blogged – Victorian Labor Govt moves to turn on the Wonthaggi seawater desalination plant – see my chart of Thomson Dam environmental flows –

I am short of time to add much until about 6 Sept – but can do quick blog housework.

Is this the worst ever pictorial of the water supply cycle?

From a Western Australian Govt report emailed me – Water Innovation. I have not located it online but could be related to this bumph.

Facts are that rainfall over the Perth-Peel urban areas, the catchment areas for the Gnangara and Jandakot Mounds, plus the Perth Hills water supply dams & and Wellington Dam catchments; would average over 7,000GL of free water from the sky per year.
This absolutely dwarfs any other water on their diagram as the Perth water supply totals about 4% of rain. The efforts of the WA Govt water authorities over decades have been to ignore the benefits of dam catchments management and to allow Perth dams to be effectively decommissioned, while taking Perth water supply to expensive seawater desalination. The Ancient Romans were far better water managers.
We need an audit of WA Govt dam catchments rain data.