Bureau of Meteorology Field Technician David Woodman, Senior Project Officer Keith Jarrett andDuaringa Area Support Officer Lorrae Brimblecombe at the new Duaringa rain gauge.
Bureau of Meteorology Field Technician David Woodman, Senior Project Officer Keith Jarrett andDuaringa Area Support Officer Lorrae Brimblecombe at the new Duaringa rain gauge. CHRC

Real-time rainfall data could save lives

AS CENTRAL Queensland moves into the wet season, Duaringa will be prepared with new rainfall stations which allow access to real-time data on river levels and rainfall through the Central Highlands area.

Central Highlands Regional Council officers completed the installation in November and two further installations in Comet and the Carnarvon area in early December.

The rainfall stations are part of the Central Highlands Regional Council Flood Warning Network Improvements Project Plan 2018-19, which is funded by the Commonwealth and Queensland Governments.

The project is a part of the larger Natural Disaster Resilience Program (NDRP).

Central Highlands Mayor Kerry Hayes said the project will improve the ways that rainfall and rivers can be monitored and will be a highly effective early warning system for areas at risk of flooding.

"Data captured by the new stations will also improve flood models and inform better disaster management practices and decision making, about floods, drought and other climate drivers,” he said.

The mayor believes that the financial offset from the NDPR has made the project highly feasible in addition to the decreased risk from natural disasters in the region.

"The total cost of works was $251,900, with council receiving a funding contribution of $176,330 under the NDRP and contributing the remaining $75,570 to ensure the delivery of the project.

"Filling the gaps in the rainfall and river height monitoring network helps people and visitors in the Central Highlands better understand the flood risk,” he said.

The project has come in the wake of a review by the Queensland Reconstruction Authority and the Bureau of Meteorology, which identified a capital investment of $519,000 to improve the network of rainfall and river height stations for populations at risk in the Central Highlands.

The new rainfall stations are solar powered and use radio transmission.

This means they are completely off-the-grid and will be able to provide live updates when other essential infrastructure like telecommunications and electricity are down.