One in 100-year rain

26 Nov, 2008 09:50 AM
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One-off rainfall event is helping future flood planning.

When 113 millimetres of rain fell in Albany last week it marked what is considered to be a one in 100-year rainfall event and has sparked great interest with the local regional office of the Department of Water.

The department's measurement of the resulting river flows is providing important information.

The data being gathered will help with mapping and management of floodplains, the design of bridges and other structures, understanding the contribution of nutrients, salt and other contaminants to waterways, and determining potential future water sources.

The department’s water information program manager, Andrew Maughan said the extraordinary rainfall event was enabling hydrographers to survey flood peaks and verify a previous flood study of Yakamia Creek.

The creek overflowed in North Road near the City of Albany offices.

“By measuring the height of the creek this time we can compare it to the height previously estimated by hydrologic and hydraulic modelling,” Mr Maughan said.

“We now have the latest technology available to enable us to measure streamflow more quickly, accurately and safely than previously.”

Mr Maughan said the department monitored water levels of 30 rivers at over 60 sites along the south coast.

“Much of this information is made available daily on our website, together with data on water quality,” he said.

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