Journal article

The influence of multiyear drought on the annual rainfall-runoff relationship: An Australian perspective

Margarita Saft, Andrew W Western, Lu Zhang, Murray C Peel, Nick J Potter



Most current long-term (decadal and longer) hydrological predictions implicitly assume that hydrological processes are stationary even under changing climate. However, in practice, we suspect that changing climatic conditions may affect runoff generation processes and cause changes in the rainfall-runoff relationship. In this article, we investigate whether temporary but prolonged (i.e., of the order of a decade) shifts in rainfall result in changes in rainfall-runoff relationships at the catchment scale. Annual rainfall and runoff records from south-eastern Australia are used to examine whether interdecadal climate variability induces changes in hydrological behavior. We test statistically ..

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Awarded by Australian Research Council Future Fellowship

Funding Acknowledgements

The research project was funded by the CSIRO Water for a Healthy Country National Research Flagship. Murray Peel is the recipient of an Australian Research Council Future Fellowship (FT120100130). We thank Jai Vaze, CSIRO ( and Fangfang Zhao for providing streamflow, catchment, and rainfall data. Meteorological data were derived from the SILO Data Drill (, Jeffrey et al. [2001]). We thank QJ Wang and Francis Chiew from CSIRO who provided comments on an earlier version of this manuscript. We also thank the anonymous reviewers and associate editor for their comments which have improved the quality of this paper.