Water Sensitive SA

Australian Rainfall and Runoff Guidelines revised

Australian Rainfall and Runoff Guidelines revised

15 November 2016

The ten-year long Engineers Australia project to revise its widely-used Australian Rainfall and Runoff (ARR) is complete, and its ongoing management has now been transferred to Geoscience Australia.

The industry launch of the ARR Guidelines was held at Engineers Australia’s Hydrology and Water Resources Symposium in Hobart October 2015.  Most books of the new guidelines were launched then, although some required further work to address inconsistencies highlighted during the review and testing process.

ARR 2016 is a major achievement because it is the first major update of the guidelines in nearly 30 years. It includes updates to the guidelines, software and data, which has now almost been completed. Finalisation of the Intensity Frequency Duration data is currently being undertaken by the Bureau of Meteorology.  The modernised guidelines provide local government engineers and consultants with the guidance and datasets necessary to produce more accurate and consistent flood studies and mapping now and into the future.

Now that the project is nearly complete, ownership of ARR has been transferred from Engineers Australia to Geoscience Australia on behalf of the Australian Government, which provided substantial funding for the revision. This arrangement means the Guidelines will be publicly accessible free of charge at http://arr.ga.gov.au/arr-guideline. The website will be regularly updated to ensure that the ARR Guidelines remain current.

ARR 2016 consists of the guideline, software and data. The ARR Guideline is available at the moment in two formats – epub download or web-based. As well, a number of organisations have produced enabling software to support the guidelines. These software applications are listed for reference, although Geoscience Australia does not endorse or recommend the software. Finally, ARR 2016 includes different data to enable and support the guidelines, such as a multi-site design rainfall simulator that can be downloaded.

Keeping the ARR up-to-date is an important component for providing reliable and robust estimates of flood risk. It also provides necessary information for locating new developments in safer areas, and appropriately designing new infrastructure. The digital delivery of ARR 2016 allows minor updates to be made immediately without the edition being updated. When major updates occur, the year will change in the title.

Public works professionals can keep informed of any updates to ARR through Engineers Australia’s newsletters or by following Geoscience Australia on Twitter.

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