As a result of the recent high rainfalls and subsequent flooding Melbourne Water is working with emergency services and other relevant agencies to review the impacts to our waterways and assets. 

For flood or storm emergency assistance, contact the VIC SES on 132 500 and for life threatening emergencies call 000. 

You can access current emergency information by calling the VicEmergency Hotline on 1800 226 226 or sign up to receive regular updates regarding flooding via the emergency.vic.gov.au website and app.

‘Rain readers’ celebrate fifty years of citizen science

A number of Melburnians were awarded for their historical contributions to rainfall data which helps to support drought and flood preparedness.

The initiative that started in the 1950s is often referred to as 'the original' citizen science program.

Almost 300 members of the community are currently involved with 220 contributing rainfall data for 10 years or more.

Melbourne Zoo hosted the event on 19 September with approximately 130 in attendance. Special presentations were made to rain readers who had volunteered for more than 50 years.

“Community rainfall data, together with information from our automated rain gauges, helps us to understand rainfall patterns across Melbourne especially after heavy storms,” said General Manager Waterways and Land Tim Wood.

“The work that our community volunteers provide complements the real-time rainfall network by enabling more data in areas where we don’t have automated equipment. This provides us with a greater view of rainfall occurrences and that helps give a broader understanding of rainfall temporal patterns across our region over the seasons.”

Using community data, Melbourne Water prepares an annual rainfall map to determine where rain fell and if it was above average or below average. This information is collated into a map which is available online and sent to all rain gauge readers to show the patterns of rainfall.

Melbourne Water is currently exploring avenues to improve the collection process for volunteers who would like to share rainfall data more frequently.

For more information about the rain reader program visit: www.melbournewater.com.au/water/rainfall-and-river-levels/community-rainfall-data