In his summary van den Honert writes of the decision of the dam operators to ignore weather forecasts of pending rainfall:
The flood disaster arguably was exacerbated by poor decision making under flawed decision processes -- decision makers chose the certainty of ignorance over the uncertain nature of uncertainty judgments. Indeed, as van den Honert describes the rainfall forecasts were inaccurate, but this did not mean that they would have been without value.
Thus [the dam operator] Seqwater claim that there were gaps in the information available on which operational decisions had to be made. This is despite Seqwater having the best rain/runoff gauge of all - the dam itself!
A 2001 Seqwater report (Feasibility of Making Pre-releases from SEQWC Reservoirs) concluded that the precipitation forecasts were not sufficiently reliable to form the basis of operational decision making for the dam. Thus this less than perfect available information was given zero weight, and not used at all to help predict reservoir levels. Effectively a “forecast” of zero rainfall was used to inform decisions about water release strategies. In other words, under the circumstances, it seems that the operators chose a scenario guaranteed to be wrong over a forecast that was likely to be uncertain.
Ultimately, the only way that Queensland gets out of this situation will be to build sufficient water retention capacity to simultaneously meet the conflicting objectives of flood mitigation and water storage as a drought buffer. In other words, there is a technological fix here that can dramatically reduce uncertainties -- but such a strategy will cost money.