Service Offerings from CSIRO, Water for a Healthy Country Flagship

Use case

CSIRO is developing a Hydrological Sensor Web in the South Esk river catchment in NE Tasmania.

The South Esk is the longest river in Tasmania (214km) and has a catchment area of approximately 3350km2. Considerable climate variability within the catchment results in high spatial variability of runoff yield. The majority of the catchment rainfall-runoff occurs in the northern and eastern headwaters. About 57% of the total water input (estimated at 3000GL/year) is either evaporated, transpired or moves into the local and regional groundwater system.

The low lying parts of the catchment are prone to floods. Indeed Perth, a town located at the bottom of the catchment has dykes to protect it from major flood events.

Long-term climate forecasts suggest the eastern part of the catchment will become significantly wetter increasing flood risk. At present there is considerable growth in the forest plantations in the eastern part of the catchment. The state government is keen to develop irrigation schemes in the South Esk catchment. The changing climate and land use patterns will impact river flow and water quality. Historical river flow data will be less useful for calibrating flow models necessitating the need for adaptive, self-calibrating models. Accurate forecast of river flow conditions is important for mitigating flood risk and irrigation planning.

The predictive skill of adaptive, self-calibrating flow forecast models can be enhanced by exploiting additional data sources provided by the Sensor Web and through the application of near real-time model-data assimilation. The growth in forest plantations, apart from contributing to water loss through transpiration, will increase availability of fuel for wild fires. Extreme weather events, one of the effects of global warming, increase the risk of wild fires. Rainfall-runoff and water quality will be affected by extensive burning of forest plantations.

The Sensor Web will provide planning authorities, water regulators, river operators, farmers and foresters enhanced situation awareness to better anticipate the effects of climate change. The Sensor Web test bed being established in the South Esk is designed to provide three levels of situation awareness: perception (through Sensor Observation Services), comprehension (through knowledge representation and reasoning using OWL based reasoners, modelling phenomena on a landscape scale) and projection (forecasting/anticipating what will happen next).

As part of our work so far we have implemented:
  • 52N SOS instances.
  • A 1km resolution numerical weather prediction (NWP) model running over the South Esk.
  • Access to DEM, land use and vegetation data.
  • Clients using Google Maps and NASA world wind.

We exploring how adaptive middleware could be employed to filter sensor observations intelligently, fuse information from diverse sensors and models, and deliver meaningful information products to end users and/or applications.

Google Maps Client

SOS 1.0.0

SOS 1.0.0 serving NWP CCAM data

Topic revision: r5 - 06 Jun 2010, BradLee
 

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