Understanding River Flow Plots

River flow plots display the flow recorded in Megalitres per day (ML/day) at telemetered sites across the state. This data is one of the tools used to assist in the management of catchments, particularly when implementing restrictions.

The data is publically available as graphs at water-data so bookmark them on your pc of phone to allow easy access.

he plots are available from more than 80 locations across the state and are updated every three hours.

You can use these plots to see what is happening in your river.

  • check how irrigation effects the river levels
  • see how much water moves down the catchment after a rain event
  • predict when irrigation restrictions may occur and plan your water use accordingly

Discuss with your RWMO the restriction triggers for your rivers so you can make the most of the available data.

The following information and diagrams can be used to assist you to read and understand the flow data and what it means for your business.

Image of three different water flow plots 
These flow plots can be read by following a few basics.

  • Generally a big peak will be either a rain event of a transfer of water.

  • These graphs show two rain events as peaks on 8 and 14 November.

  • A short trough is usually a pumping event.

  • A series of peaks and troughs demonstrate a 'busy' river system (as per the bottom diagram of the Liffey) where there are lots of water transfers and lots of pumping events.

  • Often peaks and troughs will show pumping events overnight and then a return to usual river flows.

  • These graphs also show a natural recession in river flows expected over the time period. This is to be expected coming into a dry season or following a rain event.

  Understanding River Flow Plots Factsheet   (351Kb)


Water Enquiries
GPO Box 44
Hobart TAS 7001
Phone: 1300 368 550
Email: Water.Enquiries@nre.tas.gov.au