Statement from the National Committee on Water Engineering

Since its first publication in 1958, Australian Rainfall and Runoff (ARR) has remained one of the most influential and widely used guidelines published by Engineers Australia (EA). The current edition, published in 1987, retained the same level of national and international acclaim as its predecessors.

With nationwide applicability, balancing the varied climates of Australia, the information and the approaches presented in Australian Rainfall and Runoff are essential for policy decisions and projects involving:

However, many of the practices recommended in the 1987 edition of ARR are becoming outdated, and no longer represent the accepted views of professionals, both in terms of technique and approach to water management. This fact, coupled with greater understanding of climate and climatic influences makes the securing of current and complete rainfall and streamflow data and expansion of focus from flood events to the full spectrum of flood flows and rainfall events, crucial to maintaining an adequate knowledge of the processes that govern Australian rainfall and streamflow in the broadest sense, allowing better management, policy and planning decisions to be made.

One of the major responsibilities of the National Committee on Water Engineering of Engineers Australia is the periodic revision of ARR. A recent and significant development has been that the revision of ARR has been identified as a priority in the Council of Australian Governments endorsed National Adaptation Framework for Climate Change.

The Federal Department of Climate Change has provided $4 million of funding to assist in updating Australian Rainfall and Runoff (ARR). The update will be completed in three stages over four years with current funding for the first stage and second stages. Further funding is still required for stage 3. Twenty one revision projects will be undertaken with the aim of filling knowledge gaps. The 21 projects are to be undertaken over four years with ten projects commenced in Stage 1. In Stage 2, 19 of the 21 projects will be running.

The outcomes of the projects will assist the ARR editorial team compiling and writing of the chapters of ARR. Steering and Technical Committees have been established to assist the ARR editorial team in guiding the projects to achieve desired outcomes.

Mark Babister
Chair NCWE


Dr James Ball
Editor AR&R