Flood studies to benefit communities

19 May 2006

Lake Eyre water flooding onto the dry salt pan (image captured 6 April 2000)

The first online database of existing flood studies at a national level includes over a thousand sets of information.

Developed by Geoscience Australia, with funding from the Department of Transport and Regional Services, the National Database of Riverine Flood Hazard and Risk Studies allows online searches using comprehensive information of flood studies undertaken between 1980-2004. With the cooperation of many agencies who contributed data, the new resource is the culmination of two years work and will be of benefit to anyone involved in floodplain management.

The database is a result of the acceptance of 12 Reform Commitments into natural disaster mitigation, relief and recovery arrangements in 2003 by the Council of Australian Governments. The Department of Transport and Regional Services engaged Geoscience Australia to act as its technical advisor in a national program of natural hazard risk assessment. Geoscience Australia has developed the database of riverine flood studies as a step in this process.

"At a national and a regional level, the database can be used as a tool to assist in determining the areas of high flood hazard and risk, and to aid comparisons of relative risk between urban centres. It may also be used to identify areas where further research needs to be undertaken, for example, where future studies should have a greater focus on risk assessment," said Miriam Middelmann, a research scientist with Geoscience Australia.

"The database provides the foundation from which to identify and prioritise areas for future flood studies and improves our knowledge of national flood risk. You can see what studies have been undertaken for a particular area, what techniques were used and, where available, what data has been used and who the custodian is. It means that organisations wishing to commission a flood study, particularly small Councils who may not have much experience dealing with flooding or risk assessment, can learn from the work that has been undertaken in other areas," she said.

Topic contact: media@ga.gov.au Last updated: October 4, 2013