Monday, October 11, 2010

Inflow and rainfall update

We are now approaching 95,000 megalitres of inflow for the year, having received 550.6 millimetres of rainfall. What has occurred in recent months has been large falls of rain combined with a high ratio of inflow per millimetre of rainfall. This could indicate that the subsurface soils in and around the ACT are now saturated and are acting more like they did 20 years ago with regards to moisture flows and retention.

However, it should be pointed out that even if we get 750 mm of rainfall we are unlikely to get more than 75 per cent of the average inflow for the region. This shows in how parlous a state our water system still is in - even after the brilliant year of rainfall that 2010 has been.

One year of data, and it has not been the data that I expected for this year. But we will get a better picture as we get more data. I will be very interested in seeing what sort of rainfall we get in the early part of next year, particularly March/April, and the corresponding inflows. If the subsurface is saturated, even a few months of very hot weather should not alter it all that much. We should see better inflows than at the same period last year. If we do not, that will also tell us something about what is going on beneath our feet.

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