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Automated Water Alerts Now Available in Derwent Valley

Published: (Updated: ) in Australian News by .

A Hydro Tasmanian project is enabling remote sensing data to be pushed to users interested in water level and flow of key rivers.

A monitoring station. Images in this post courtesy Hydro Tas.

River users and landowners in the Derwent Valley can now automatically be kept informed on changing water levels thanks to innovative technology from Hydro Tasmania.

A new system of water level notifications provides customised SMS, email and text-to-speech alerts from Hydro Tasmania’s remote sensors, advising subscribers of water levels for business or recreational purposes.

Hydro Tasmania CEO Steve Davy said the business wanted to look after its neighbours. “We been speaking with farmers downstream from our dams and heard about irrigation pumps either being drowned or running dry every few years due to changing water levels, and the cost of repairs that start at $3,000 per pump,” he said.

He said this may be particularly concerning for farmers with sensitive crops, who need to plan their irrigation to get the best yields.

“A farmer in the lower Derwent may not be aware of rain upstream in the river system that is causing water levels in our dams to rise, until they spill, and because changing water levels can impact users in different ways, our new water alert system will let you subscribe to a range of alerts depending on your needs,” Davy explained.

This information has been available on the website for many years, but Hydro say they wanted to go a step further. “After our initial tests with local users in the Derwent Valley were successful, we’ve used their feedback to help develop the final product, ”

He said the system is now to the public, and river users such as canoeists and kayakers for example can also take advantage, as the alerts will let advise them of increased flows, and enable them protect their equipment.

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The new system is for water level changes that are smaller than those in flood alerts from the Bureau of Meteorology (BOM) and that Hydro Tasmania can only provide information about the waterways it manages. People should continue to check information from BOM and State Emergency Services in the event of a flood.

The new water alerts system is initially available for the Derwent and Ouse rivers only, but will be expanded to the Mersey Forth, King, South Esk and Pieman rivers over the next two years. The system will be tailored during the rollout based on ongoing feedback from users.

“Once again, congratulations to Hydro Tasmania for developing this water level alerts system and we look forward to seeing the benefits flowing across the state in coming years,” said Minister for Primary Industries and Water Guy Barnett.

The Hydro alerts can be found here. A (free) registration is required to access the alerts.

Source: Tasmanian Times https://tasmaniantimes.com/2020/06/automated-water-alerts-derwent-valley/#utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=automated-water-alerts-derwent-valley

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