Completion of the Fowlers Gap GEIF Project

Posted 27 August 2013

The UNSW Fowler's Gap arid-zone research station is in western NSW.

Arid zone rainfall monitoring facilities at the UNSW Fowlers Gap Research Station in western NSW have been upgraded and now provide rainfall, video and groundwater data feeds via the internet.

Rainfall has been monitored at the 400km2 arid zone research station at Fowlers Gap since the early 1970s.

Each paddock at the research station has a representative total rain gauge that has been monitored after each rainfall event.

There are 18 rainfall gauges distributed at a density of approximately 1 every 20 km2 . Until now, a journey of 125km on a farm bike was undertaken each time it rained to collect measurements from the gauges that have been used to build the rainfall record for the site. To date, the total distance travelled to collect this data has been about 2.25 times the earth's circumference at the equator.

This record is a probably unique set of rainfall data for the semi-arid zone.

Now, the Fowlers Gap site is monitored using the Telstra 3G network. The 18 manual gauges have been replaced with with tipping-bucket gauges linked to a data transmission network that makes it possible to view the daily data from the farm office (no bike trips) or remotely via the web.

Video feed image from the Rock Bar stream-gauging station.Video feed image from the Rock Bar stream-gauging station.

Two stream-gauging stations and a network of 9 groundwater observation bores have also been installed and added to the network.

The gauging stations have a remote video link so that flood events can be monitored. When it does rain, the roads are frequently closed to vehicles.

The live data can be viewed at the Fowlers Gap data web site.

Links:

Latest news

Floating though the dolines

Floating though the dolines

24 July 2020

Are you a fan of ABC's Conversations with Richard Fidler? Well, you might want to take a listen to this episode of the program with subterranean ecologist Stefan Eberhard.  

Read more…

New questions over Shenhua water modelling

New questions over Shenhua water modelling

24 July 2020

Take a listen to ABC Radio National Breakfast's segment on the controversial $1.5 billion Shenhua thermal coal mine on the New South Wales Liverpool Plains. Research undertaken by UNSW's leading groundwater expert Professor Ian Acworth indicates that the company's water modelling is flawed.

Read more…

Ban on toxic mercury looms in sugar cane farming, but Australia still has a way to go

Ban on toxic mercury looms in sugar cane farming, but Australia still has a way to go

18 July 2020

CWI's Professors Cameron Holley and Darren Sinclair and Australian National University's Professor Simon Haberle and Larissa Schneider recently contributed to The Conversation, discussing federal authorities announcement of "an upcoming ban on mercury-containing pesticide in Australia", highlighting Australia is "one of the last countries in the world to do so, despite overwhelming evidence over more than 60 years that mercury use as fungicide in agriculture is dangerous." 

Read more…

Ancient water to drain from farmland without ongoing joint management

Ancient water to drain from farmland without ongoing joint management

1 July 2020

The management of withdrawals of ground water in the Central West remains an area of hotly-contested debate. Associate Professor of Hydrogeology Bryce Kelly has spent over a decade studying groundwater in the Central West, and has credited groundwater with “saving rural communities from collapse”, but its potential for future drought-proofing depends on how successfully it’s managed. He says current withdrawals “will only be sustainable if the Narromine region gets flooded frequently enough to balance the volume of groundwater extracted."

Read more…

GWI Global Water Matters Podcast

21 June 2020

The UNSW-GWI Global Water Matters Podcast was launched in 2020 to share interesting and important water-related developments and insights from global experts across the broad spectrum of water-related disciplines. Born from the demand to continue the Water Issues Commentary seminar series under the constraints of social distancing, new episodes are released monthly.

Read more…