New river and rainfall monitoring technology for Fitzroy River Catchment

Media release
With the wet season fast approaching, the Department of Water and Environmental Regulation (DWER) has completed upgrades of its river and rainfall monitoring across the Fitzroy and Margaret River catchments.
Last updated:

In addition to upgrading all communication equipment there have been temporary gauges built at the Old Crossing and Dimond Gorge with all gauges now operating and ready to report the 23/24 wet season water information data.

The monitoring sites are a valuable tool in forecasting potential flooding of communities and roads and assist the State’s emergency response in times of flooding.

“The Kimberley Floods last year showed us how important river and rainfall monitoring is, which is an invaluable tool for understanding the river and boosting community confidence ahead of the wet season,” Program Manager Luke Donovan said.

The new technology will improve the capture of information at critical sites, transmitting “near-real time” data using Inmarsat geostationary, Iridium low earth orbit satellites and Telstra mobile network telemetry communication systems.

These upgrades were initiated prior to the significant flooding event - which occurred in the catchment in December 2022 and January 2023 - and were completed in October of this year.

In September this year, DWER commenced replacing all telemetry systems in readiness for the closure of the Globalstar satellite network and the Telstra 3G mobile network for November 2023 and June 2024 respectively.

The satellite telemetry systems at the remainder of DWER’s river and rainfall monitoring sites across the State are being upgraded, with a target for completion before the end of the year.

River and rainfall monitoring sites that use the Telstra 3G mobile network will be upgraded to new Narrowband – Internet of Things telemetry systems and will be operational mid next year.

Incoming data will be displayed on the current DWER River Monitoring Stations website.

DWER currently operates an extensive network of 280 river monitoring stations and 170 rainfall gauges across the State. DWER operate 14 river and 10 rainfall monitoring sites located in the Fitzroy River catchment.