Rainfall gauge satellite trial

The Rainfall gauge satellite trial (Enhanced measurement project) is an important strategy to enhance rainfall data intelligence and provide more transparent and sustainable rural water management across Queensland.

Understanding the availability of water is critical for future water management. Emerging satellite technology is enabling the trial of low-cost automation of collecting and reporting rainfall data in remote locations.

This trial will run until December 2023 initially. After evaluation, a decision will be made on the continuation of the program.

A photo of a rainfall gauge trial device in a cotton field. © Queensland Government

This trial uses technology to collect rainfall data automatically in remote locations. Coverage is increased by:

  • collaborating with site owners who are interested in rainfall
  • partnering with landholders to host a unit
  • accessing low-orbiting satellites to transmit data where cellular coverage is limited
  • designing a self-contained unit with lower power requirements

Trial benefits

Automated rainfall data collected in this trial will enhance:

  • coverage of rainfall observations in the Northern Murray-Darling Basin
  • early indications of potential river flows
  • accuracy of water budget calculations.

The Department of Regional Development, Manufacturing and Water (DRDMW) will collaborate with the Bureau of Meteorology and other partners to research the emerging technology and share rainfall data collected.

About the trial

Queensland landholders in the Northern Murray-Darling Basin region are participating in this trial. A prototype rainfall gauge using emerging automated data collection technology has been installed in 49 locations.

  • Start date: December 2022.
  • Trial duration: 12 Months.
  • Requirements: Desktop computer, laptop or mobile device and internet access with the latest version of Edge, Chrome or Firefox web browser.
  • Feedback: Trial participants will be asked to provide feedback throughout the trial.

View trial rainfall data

The rainfall gauge data collected in this trial is transmitted securely through a low-orbiting satellite network. The antenna only activates when a satellite passes overhead. This is a power saving measure that keeps data collection costs lower.

The 24-hour rainfall totals measured by the trial equipment is usually published on the Water monitoring information portal (WMIP) each morning at approximately 9am. The rainfall recorded at each remote site can be viewed on any internet-enabled device from https://water-monitoring.information.qld.gov.au.

For the latest information about stream and river heights for flood warning purposes, refer to the Australian Government Bureau of Meteorology website.


For any issues accessing the rainfall gauge data in the WMIP, or assistance with the trial device, contact us by sending an email to raingaugetrial@itp-qld.atlassian.net. In the subject line of the email please include the device owner station name and a brief issue summary. Include a detailed description of the issue or support being sought in the email body.

Australian Government coat of arms

The Queensland Department of Regional Development, Manufacturing and Water (DRDMW) gratefully acknowledges the Australian Government’s financial contribution to the Rural Water Futures Program through the Murray-Darling Basin Authority and the Murray-Darling Basin Communities Investment Package, delivered under the Murray-Darling Basin Plan by the Queensland DRDMW, through funding from the Australian Government Department of Climate Change, Energy, the Environment and Water.

Last updated: 11 Apr 2023