Inspire : Public Works Nov Dec 2012
39 is now taken into account. This recognises that houses can be fooded by rain as well as streams and rivers. Ball says the new document also recognises that there is greater variation in rainfall across the country. The updated AR&R will have more short-duration rainfall data and guidance on how to account for the impact of climate change. From a rainfall perspective, the team is getting assistance from the Bureau of Meteorology and the CSIRO to add what is known to the document and provide guidance on what is unknown and how to incorporate that into food estimations. The update will include key components that cover climate change -- an issue that has been thrust to the fore of policy and planning decisions since the guidelines were frst published. Climate change was mentioned in previous editions, but then completely discounted for lack of data. "We are now in the situation where we have got to give more defnite guidance on the issue,” Ball says. "We are staying out of the argument of human-caused climate change versus natural causes. But we recognise that the climate is changing, and that people need to take these changes into account." Some of its studies have already had an impact. One that focused on the safety of people in food events took children into account. Previously, information was available only for adults. This was used in a discussion on land use and a proposed childcare facility adjacent to a creek. In the end, the facility was not allowed. On the other hand, one gover nment body refused to adopt updates included in a draft chapter on food- frequency analysis because it was just that -- a draft. Yet, Ball points out, even the 1987 edition recommended that someone undertaking food design should use the latest information, even if it is not in the AR&R. CONTINUE THE CONVERSATION Have your say on this story. Go to http://goo.gl/nUJaX to comment on this article. The frst book is close to release and is just waiting for a few fnal changes on methodology. The second book is at the stage of 'advanced draft', while a number of others have signifcant sections drafted but are not yet ready to go into either an internal or external review. Uncertainty about funding for the remaining work was resolved recently when Geoscience Australia agreed to pay Engineers Australia $5.15 million over three years to complete the third and fnal stage of the revision. Ball estimates it will be another two or three years of writing and review prior to full publication. "It's extremely detailed," Ball says. "One of the things we found out is the number of regions in the world that look to AR&R to provide guidance, with local information inserted. It is an example of where Australia is leading the world in many aspects." For Ball, this has been a massive project. "For the last fve years, I have been spending 50 per cent of my time on this," he says. "It will be very satisfying to complete the task. You don't get many opportunities to put all your thoughts together in one form like this." He says his biggest concern when accepting the challenge was how to get the profession to follow in behind. But he need not have worried. It's been a $20 million project, but only half has come from the gover nment; the rest has come in kind. "I have been delighted by how much support I've been given by my colleagues.” ••• When the last edition was published in 1987, PCs were only just becoming available, so many of the techniques were designed for hand calculations and have since become computerised. The revised guidelines have 45 chapters, compared to 15 in the last.
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