Australian Water Availability Project

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AWAP Data Advisory - Historical and operational series are back online - 27 May 2014

We are pleased to announce the release of:

CSIRO AWAP Run 26j Historical Monthly and Annual Model Results for 1900-2014/02
CSIRO AWAP Near-Real Time Operational Model Results for 2007 to Present

These series incorporate Bureau of Meteorology bias re-corrections to solar radiation data, and other updated meteorology forcing. These model results replace previous Operational series and Historical Run 26h 1900-2011 which should no longer be used.

The following summary information is provided to Run 26h users wishing to assess the likely impact of solar bias re-corrections and updated meteorology on previous work.

Initial advice on solar bias re-corrections at 21 March 2014:

Run 26j - Run 26h meteorology and soil moisture differences, 1900-2011, spatially averaged by agro-climatic zone (Hutchinson et al. 2006):

May 27, 2014

The aim of the Australian Water Availability Project (AWAP) is to monitor the state and trend of the terrestrial water balance of the Australian continent, using model-data fusion methods to combine both measurements and modelling. The project determines the past history and present state of soil moisture and all water fluxes contributing to changes in soil moisture (rainfall, transpiration, soil evaporation, surface runoff and deep drainage), across the entire Australian continent at a spatial resolution of 5 km. Using the same basic framework, the project provides soil moistures and water fluxes over the Australian continent in three forms: (1) weekly/monthly near-real-time reporting, (2) monthly/annual historical time series from 1900, and (3) monthly climatologies (on request).

The long-term intention is to contribute to integrated monitoring and understanding of the dynamics of Australian landscape systems, especially responses to climate variability and change, and thus to assist adaptive, system-wide management through feedback via measurement and monitoring.

Funding for the development of the CSIRO AWAP model and operational system was provided by the Bureau of Rural Sciences (now ABARES) as part of a collaborative effort between BRS, CSIRO and the Australian Bureau of Meteorology from 2005 to 2008. Funding for maintenance of the AWAP system and associated science projects from 2008 to 2012 was provided by the South Eastern Australian Climate Initiative (SEACI). AWAP is currently unfunded and is maintained as a public good by members of the CSIRO AWAP team. A transition of operational responsibility to the Bureau of Meteorology is anticipated in due course.

Water Balance Maps:

Operational maps are more timely but are modelled using next-day meteorology surfaces, constructed using fewer stations, and before the completion of the BoM quality control cycle. Early operational results are occasionally refreshed using historical data.

Historical maps are modelled using the best quality-controlled meteorology surfaces available at the time, including the BoM AWAP daily recalibrated rainfall product, supplemented in data sparse areas by disaggregated monthly data.

Additional Information:

  • Public access to the data: Currently AWAP model results (excluding BoM meteorology) are a research level product and are available for collaborative use with CSIRO AWAP team members. Where AWAP model data are to be used for significant scientific outputs (such as publications) we will wish to discuss co-authorship. Please contact Peter Briggs.

Partner Websites:


Michael Raupach
(Executive Director, ANU Climate Change Institute)
Peter Briggs


Michael Raupach Project oversight, model development
Peter Briggs Data management, graphic design
Vanessa Haverd Links to CSIRO climate modelling work
Edward King Remote sensing, operational system, web interface
Matt Paget Remote sensing, operational system
Cathy Trudinger Data assimilation
    Upper layer relative soil moisture (percentile rank) for the most recently available week
Upper layer relative soil moisture (percentile rank) for the most recently available week. Blue is wetter than the 1961-1990 average for this month, red is drier.
Lower layer relative soil moisture (percentile rank) for the most recently available week
Lower layer relative soil moisture (percentile rank) for the most recently available week