The Australian Water Availability Project (AWAP) is a system that operationally delivers weekly estimates of soil moisture stores and water fluxes at continental scale over Australia. The highly modularized system implements a miniature spatial data infrastructure by exploiting a simple data format standard and metadata scheme to enable the flexible ingestion of a variety of input data types, including gridded meteorological fields, land surface parameterizations and, optionally, remote sensing data. The use of these standards, together with a client-server architecture and portable coding, enable the system to function across multiple interchangeable computers, leading to a robust system with a high degree of redundancy. Through a well-defined interface, the framework supports the development and testing of multiple models. Thorough model and data version-control and log file capture also allows automated operational runs in the same environment as that in which models are built and tested. The system includes a web portal (http://www.csiro.au/awap) that provides a variety of ways for data users to dynamically explore and examine output (which currently includes over a century of data for the Australian continent at monthly intervals, in addition to weekly near-real-time products) in summary or extended forms.