Collection and accuracy of rainfall and river data

We monitor rainfall and river levels at more than 200 sites across greater Melbourne, and collect daily rainfall observations from over 300 community volunteers. Find out how we collect and validate data, what we use it for, or submit a data request.

While we have taken all due skill and attention in collecting, validating and providing our data, we shall not be liable for any loss of any kind caused by errors, inaccuracies, incompleteness or other defects in this information.

Data types

Hourly rainfall and river level data (unverified)

Hourly rainfall and stream flow data is automatically provided by more than 200 electronic rain gauges installed across Melbourne. These gauges send radio signals to our offices when it rains, recording the amount of rainfall and time it occurred at each site.

We periodically check the accuracy of this data by comparing it to the amount of rain collected in a ‘check bottle’ inside the rain gauge.

Our website publishes raw hourly data for each site extending back to 1 June 2004, when this website was created. You can obtain earlier data for a fee – read the ‘Request hydrological data’ section on this page.

Historical community data (unverified)

More than 300 community volunteers record daily rainfall readings from their own rain gauge, usually installed in their backyard. This data is submitted to us each year and uploaded onto our website.

Unlike our official rainfall data, community data has not been checked for accuracy and may be inaccurate or incomplete. The amount of data at each location also varies, as some volunteers have been recording rainfall for more than 50 years while others have only started recently.

How we use our data

Data from our electronic rain gauges and community volunteers helps us understand rainfall patterns across Melbourne, especially after heavy storms. It also helps us plan responses to droughts and floods, and make sure rivers and creeks have enough water to support local wildlife.

Specific activities we use our data for include:

  • flood warnings, storm frequency estimates and simulating potential floods
  • environmental flow monitoring and reporting, including our compliance with the environmental water reserve
  • streamflow management plans, river and creek diversion management and drought response
  • river and creek health assessments and reports
  • requirements for wetlands, fishways and waterway stabilisation works
  • analyses for water supply, sewerage and drainage system operations and system capacity
  • water resource planning such as analysing and modelling catchment yield

Request hydrological data

We collect and analyse a large amount of detailed hydrological data not published on this website, including historical records. This data can be provided to you for a fee, which offsets our data collection, processing and storage costs.

To request data, simply check what data is available and submit a form:

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