Brokers wanting to help clients identify potential flood risk can now access more accurate information which has just become easier to access, following the first major upgrade of the Australian Rainfall and Runoff (AFF) Guidelines in 30 years.
For the first time, the data is completely based on Australian data and now has an extra 30 years’ worth of observations added, including at least 100,000 storm events.
Geoscience Australia and Engineers Australia worked over four years to complete the comprehensive upgrade with the addition of 30 extra years of rainfall data from the Bureau of Meteorology.
Geoscience Australia’s CEO Dr Chris Pigram said there had been a few minor revisions since they were first published in 1958, but this was the first major upgrade since 1987.
The upgrade was sparked following a review into a series of floods in the summer of 2010-11, which included the flooding of Brisbane in January 2011.
“We’ve undertaken a complete revision of the guidelines to ensure they are a comprehensive and truly national product,” Pigram said.
“It’s not just the data we’ve updated and improved, we have also made the guidelines available for free online.”
The upgrade included the Bureau of Meteorology’s new Intensity Frequency Duration (IFD) design rainfall estimates.
Dr Andrew Johnson, CEO of the Bureau, said the new estimates included observations from over 10,000 rainfall gauging stations, including 2,300 extra rainfall stations and nearly three decades of additional rainfall data.
“We’ve also used statistical analysis techniques that weren’t available 30 years ago,” Johnson said.
The data was invaluable for engineers and town planners to develop accurate and consistent flood studies and mapping across Australia while designing dams, stormwater drainage, improving floodplain management and assisting land managers with soil conservation strategies.
It was also good news for Australians living in areas at risk of flood, Engineers Australia CEO Stephen Durkin said.
Ownership of the ARR guidelines has now been transferred from Engineers Australia to Geoscience Australia, on behalf of the Australian government.
Access the guidelines here
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