Telling telemetry
  • Thursday 19 April 2012

When rain starts to fall, Sunshine Coast Council’s rain and stream gauge telemetry network tells the story it’s been saving for a rainy day.

Manager Infrastructure Policy Nick Cooney said the telemetry network provides vital information about rainfall and rising stream heights as the rain is actually falling.

"Telemetry gauges are strategically placed at 69 sites across the Coast," Mr Cooney said.

"The gauges collect rainfall and stream height data and immediately transmit that information via radio signal.

"Council and the Bureau of Meteorology receive the information as it is happening and that’s how we assess the developing impacts of significant rainfall events as we know how much rain has fallen and where exactly it has occurred.

"The data is automatically added to the rainfall charts on the Bureau’s website so people can see the actual daily rainfall recorded in their area."

Mr Cooney said Council works closely with the Bureau of Meteorology to coordinate the maintenance and upkeep of the telemetry network.

"The telemetry network provides essential information during emergency events to inform the Local Disaster Coordination Centre," he said.

"It’s essential that we work closely with the Bureau and have infrastructure and systems in place that provide data with certainty, consistency and reliability.

"Management of the telemetry network is a shared responsibility as both organisations benefit from the data collected.

"All telemetry sites need to be active as they perform as a network, providing a complete picture of what is occurring across the Coast, especially when significant rainfall occurs and the Disaster Coordination Centre is activated.

"That’s the time when we need to be sure that the information we are getting is accurate and has good coverage so that decisions made during emergency events are based on sound information."