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SunWater moves to Delft-FEWS for storage management in Australia

SunWater is the bulk water supplier for regional Queensland, Australia. The SunWater Operations Centre is responsible for forecasting reservoir water levels for 22 referable storages, 6 of which are gated. The role of the operations centre is to provide the broader business and communities downstream of SunWater dams with information about the likelihood for reservoirs to spill and the activation of Emergency Action Plans.

To meet these responsibilities, SunWater Operations Centre currently makes use of forecast hydrology models and a telemetered stream height and rainfall gauge network. Forecast rainfall from the BoM is obtained and summarised in a Daily Flood Summary report. The report is completed with the likelihood of spilling, based on expert judgement and can trigger further forecasting through hydrology (URBS) modelling. The models are run through the URBS control centre, where the required input is gathered and processed.

This process has now been streamlined and improved through the use of Delft-FEWS in an implementation known affectionately as FEWS-SuDS. The initial system has been set up by Deltares, but is now in the capable hands of SunWater, thanks to the existing staff skills and experience with Delft-FEWS. The project has moved quickly and is still on track to introduce FEWS-SuDS as the main system to produce the Daily Flood Summary report and function as the one-stop shop for rainfall analysis in the 2018/2019 wet season.