Hydro Guide, an interactive surface water map of the south-west agricultural region of Western Australia

Page last updated: Monday, 17 October 2022 - 4:40pm

Please note: This content may be out of date and is currently under review.

This interactive map – produced by the Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development (DPIRD) – allows you to explore surface-water flow and accumulation within the south-west agricultural region.

We produced this interactive map as a guide to locating potential sites for new farm dams. It also provides information to help determine where existing dams may be at risk from dryland salinity.

What you will find on the linked map

  • surface water flowlines
  • farm dams and lakes
  • land surface contours
  • terrain slope
  • areas of potential inundation.

Open the Hydro Guide interactive map Open Hydro map

Using the map for the first time

We recommend that you read the information below, then investigate the map.

You can find your locality by using the search tab in the top left-hand corner of the map. You can also pan and zoom to an area of interest using the + and – buttons next to the search tab or with the wheel on your mouse.

In the top left hand corner are:

  • a locator button which will display your current position if you are using a device with an in-built GPS.
  • a button allowing you to add data layers from web services or from files stored on your computer, which could include a farm plan.
  • tools for converting location data to different datums, measuring distances and areas on the map, drawing on and annotating the map and printing the map window to a PDF for future reference.

In the top right hand corner are icons for:

  • legends for the layers displayed in the map – the legends will expand as you zoom in to a site.
  • layers of information that can be displayed in the map – some layers will be 'greyed out' until you zoom in to the right scale.
  • base maps on which the layers can be displayed – the default base map is called 'Imagery hybrid'.
  • information about the data and layers – some of which is duplicated below.

Information in this map

The layers in the map are derived from modeling, which means that the reliability of each product is variable and will contain some errors. Use this map as a guide, and verify the information using other sources. For more information about salinity visit the Interactive groundwater and salinity map for the south-west agricultural region website.

Digital Earth Australia (DEA) Waterbodies Version 1 (accessed September 2021)

Water bodies are displayed as light blue hashed polygons, this product identifies large surface water bodies which are present more than 10% of the time. This layer includes dams, lakes, rivers, inlets and more. See Digital Earth Australia Waterbodies, Geoscience Australia for more information. Version two of this dataset has become available, however this map is using version one for compatibility reasons.

Land surface contours and slope

Contour lines show the surface elevation in metres above sea level.

Terrain slope indicates the relative steepness of the land surface: white indicating flat terrain and black indicating steep terrain.

Potential inundation

The map shows locations likely to experience extended inundation after heavy rainfall. Blue indicates relatively low levels of inundation and red indicates relatively high levels.

Other information on the map

This map can also display: dams with roaded catchments; rocky outcrops; dryland salinity; valley hazard (areas potentially at risk of dryland salinity).

The 'dams with roaded catchments' layer correctly identifies the status of dams approximately 85% of the time. The main purpose of this layer is to help DPIRD estimate the proportion of dams with roaded catchments and where they are situated to guide our support for improved water catchments.

The rocky outcrop layer has a low accuracy and should be used with particular care. Fortunately, ground checking of this layer is simple and straight forward for users hoping to identify potential dam sites.

All of the elevation-based layers (surface water flow, land surface contours, terrain slope and potential inundation) products were derived from mosaicked digital elevation grids of variable quality. As such the quality of the products is variable throughout the mapped area.