Australian Rainfall and Runoff - A Guide to Flood Estimation

Commonwealth of Australia
Publication Type:
2016, pp. 1 - 1526
Issue Date:
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Since its first publication in 1958, Australian Rainfall and Runoff (ARR) has remained one of the most influential and widely used guidelines published by Engineers Australia (EA). The 3rd edition, published in 1987, retained the same level of national and international acclaim as its predecessors. With nationwide applicability, balancing the varied climates of Australia, the information and the approaches presented in Australian Rainfall and Runoff are essential for policy decisions and projects involving: infrastructure such as roads, rail, airports, bridges, dams, stormwater and sewer systems; town planning; mining; developing flood management plans for urban and rural communities; flood warnings and flood emergency management; operation of regulated river systems; and prediction of extreme flood levels. However, many of the practices recommended in the 1987 edition of ARR have become outdated, and no longer represent the accepted views of professionals, both in terms of technique and approach to water management. This fact, coupled with greater understanding of climate and climatic influences makes the securing of current and complete rainfall and streamflow data and expansion of focus from flood events to the full spectrum of flows and rainfall events, crucial to maintaining an adequate knowledge of the processes that govern Australian rainfall and streamflow in the broadest sense, allowing better management, policy and planning decisions to be made. One of the major responsibilities of the National Committee on Water Engineering of Engineers Australia is the periodic revision of ARR. While the NCWE had long identified the need to update ARR it had become apparent by 2002 that even with a piecemeal approach the task could not be carried out without significant financial support. In 2008 the revision of ARR was identified as a priority in the Council of Australian Governments endorsed National Adaptation Framework for Climate Change. In addition to the update 21 projects were identified with the aim of filling knowledge gaps. Funding for Stages 1 and 2 of the ARR revision projects were provided by the now Department of the Environment. Stage 3 was funded by Geoscience Australia. Funding for Stages 2 and 3 of Project 1 (Development of Intensity-Frequency-Duration information across Australia) has been provided by the Bureau of Meteorology. The outcomes of the projects assisted the ARR Editorial Team with the compiling and writing of chapters in the revised ARR. Steering and Technical Committees were established to assist the ARR Editorial Team in guiding the projects to achieve desired outcomes.
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