Friday, July 6, 2012

The impact of low-pressure weather systems on Australia's water security

Newcastle Herald (Australia): A new University of Newcastle research project will examine the influence of east coast low weather systems, on the future water security of Australia’s eastern seaboard.
Researchers from the Faculty of Engineering and Built Environment and Faculty of Science and Information Technology aim to develop a greater understanding of the impact of extreme low pressure systems on climate change and the implications for water storage.

East coast lows are intense low-pressure systems that occur off eastern Australia and can generate gale force winds and heavy rainfall. The weather phenomenon is the same type that created the destructive storm that grounded the bulk carrier, Pasha Bulker, at Newcastle’s Nobbys Beach in 2007.

“East coast lows often result in major flooding and destruction, but this water is crucial for topping up storage levels in coastal regions,” one of the project’s chief investigators, Professor Garry Willgoose said.

“Without the heavy rainfall we experienced during that infamous Pasha Bulker storm boosting the Hunter’s water stores, the region’s reservoirs could have ran dangerously low, having major implications for residents and heavy industry.”...

The Pasha Bulker grounded at Nobby's Beach, Newcastle, Australia, shot by Web107, Wikimedia Commons, under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license

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