The McGowan Government’s $2.3 million upgrade of the Bureau of Meteorology’s Albany facility to Doppler capability is complete, providing enhanced services for local farmers and emergency services.
The upgrade is part of a suite of investments by the State Government to achieve almost complete Doppler radar coverage across the agricultural region, providing accurate, real time rainfall intensity and wind speed and direction information.
The State’s commitment also includes funding a new generation Doppler radar at the Bureau’s Geraldton facility, to return to service soon, as well as the installation of Doppler radars at Newdegate, South Doodlakine and Watheroo in recent years.
The Doppler radar service, together with 176 State-owned weather stations, enriches data driven decisions by agribusinesses, while providing crucial data to emergency services.
Modelling for the project has revealed a $3.4 million year-on-year benefit generated from the Doppler radar installations from improved productivity, and a benefit-cost ratio of $1.70 for each dollar invested.
The Doppler radar images and further weather information is available from http://www.bom.gov.au or the Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development’s website at https://weather.agric.wa.gov.au
As stated by Agriculture and Food Minister Alannah MacTiernan:
“This investment is a great State and Commonwealth collaboration that will generate long-term benefits to growers and emergency services in our regions.
“The impressive cost-benefit modelling results clearly demonstrate the State Government’s investment in installing and upgrading WA’s Doppler radars has been worthwhile.
“The State’s investment will be fully realised in a few weeks, when the Geraldton upgrade is completed, while BoM’s planned Doppler upgrade to its Esperance facility is expected in 2020, which when complete, will make WA’s weather service the best in the country.
“The State’s Doppler radar project has been an enduring investment that will create long-term productivity and profitability improvements for WA agribusinesses, while enhancing emergency response resources for regional Western Australians.”