Water Intelligence Success Stories from Australia

Hydrology Australia Entura

In my last post, I announced the winners of the 2016 AQUARIUS Impact Awards. I congratulated Chris Smith, Water Resource Analyst at Murrumbidgee Irrigation for his outstanding achievements with AQUARIUS Time-Series:

For the first time in the company’s 100+ year history, AQUARIUS has provided Murrumbidgee Irrigation with a solid warehouse and analytical tool for our hydrological data. It provides a source of truth and level of confidence that we have needed to move forward as a leader in our industry. With greater confidence in our data, we build greater confidence in our business decisions.

Today, while I visit our customers in Australia, I’d like to celebrate the country’s very progressive water monitoring practices.

In many ways, Australia is one of the most advanced countries in the world when it comes to monitoring water.

The country has invested heavily in modern hydrological monitoring networks. Station density is high relative to other countries – in Australia they capture more continuous water data per square kilometer than certainly Canada or the United States. They are certainly collecting big water data Down Under.

Australia was also one of the first countries to adopt commercial off the shelf (COTS) water data management software. In Australia COTS adoption started nearly 30 years ago, while many other countries today still primary rely on spreadsheets or custom in-house solutions (which are now also showing their age).

As more and more water monitoring organizations in Australia modernize to our integrated AQUARIUS platform, I’m thrilled to hear their success stories in producing better quality data and in making water data management decisions with the highest confidence.

Today, I’d like to highlight the success story that Mike Ross shared with us. Mike is a Specialist Systems Engineer with Entura – one of the world’s most experienced specialist power and water consulting firms. As part of Hydro Tasmania, Australia’s largest renewable energy producer and water manager, Entura is backed by more than 100 years of creating energy and maintaining power and water assets.

Entura is working on lots of exciting hydrological modelling and forecasting projects at the moment.

Here is one of their success stories on improved flood management and dam safety …

Entura were contracted to deliver a new Early Warning System for Parkes Shire Council for Endeavour dam. The aim of this project was to provide the operators of the dam with a heads-up of potential spill events that could cause downstream flooding.

This involved replacing an existing 90’s era telemetry and SCADA system with new telemetry sites, with rainfall sites built to BoM/WMO standards, and with Entura’s own SCADA system to capture the data into a cloud based repository. This data is combined with observations and gridded rainfall forecast data from the BoM ready for the modelling process.

Flood forecast models were built in AQUARIUS Forecast to predict the potential inflows and dam levels. AQUARIUS Forecast was used for the modelling as the flexible environment, which allowed a continuous rainfall-runoff model to be built and customised for the catchment and storage. The model was run in real-time with direct inputs to the model from the AQUARIUS Time-Series database, and forecast outputs written back to the database.

The resulting outputs of the model were then synchronised back into the cloud where the dam operators could view the data alongside the real-time observation data, via a customised online dashboard.

Entura used an in-house integration package called the Ajenti Data Bridge to facilitate data transfer in and out of AQUARIUS Time-Series, and to manage the execution of the AQUARIUS Forecast models. This allowed for a fully managed and monitored modelling solution, with model outputs available online instantly after model runs were completed, and the performance of the system carefully monitored for issues.

The data collected and the output from the modelling system are made available to the operators of the dam to assist in the forecasting of potential flood events, providing up to 7 days lead time for the activation of flood management plans. Alarms sent via SMS are used to notify operators of potential events as soon as the forecast is available.

Data is also simplified and made publicly available to residents to keep them informed of current and forecast levels. This has enabled Parkes Shire Council to reduce the risk associated with flooding and to meet their dam safety management obligations.”

The AQUARIUS Impact Awards are designed to celebrate the outstanding work our customers do everyday to turn massive volumes of water data into insight to support better water data management decisions. Stay tuned, as I will be sharing more of our customer success stories.

One response to “Water Intelligence Success Stories from Australia”

  1. A group of researchers concluded that ‘hydropeaking’ of water flows on many rivers in the West has a devastating impact on aquatic insect abundance.

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