The Australian Flood Risk Information Portal (the portal) will provide a central location where flood studies and maps from across Australia can be discovered and delivered to the general public, and the wider flood hazard and risk community. Initially, studies will be available through a database hosted at Geoscience Australia. This database comprises flood studies completed and uploaded into the database, either at Geoscience Australia or by custodians remotely. In the future, studies and maps will also be accessible through the portal from other jurisdictional databases, or may be added to the network as they are completed by the study's author.
Web services will enable the studies to be hosted and maintained by custodians independently of the portal. Web services will also be available to those looking for flood studies, either through catalogue searches or machine read searches. Web services rely on interface and metadata standards to be recognised and adopted by the Australian flood community.
The portal will enable users to find and view flood information from authoritative sources. The portal will draw upon government maintained databases which include:
- a Geoscience Australia hosted Open Geospatial Consortium (OGC) standards compliant database and;
- other flood information databases that are managed by Australian states and territories.
Principles to support the portal
The delivery of flood information through the portal will be based on the portal framework, and supported by a set of principles:
- There will be an agreed set of metadata standards.
- An "authoritative" database is defined to be one that can supply flood study metadata through web services to the national portal using the agreed set of metadata standards.
- Flood study metadata recording is most efficiently completed by the author.
- The commissioning organisation is responsible for new flood study metadata and GIS data produced in the study being recorded in an authoritative Government database upon completion of the study.
- All flood study metadata entered into an authoritative database must be quality checked to ensure it is accurate.
- The State or Territory where the commissioning organisation resides is responsible for identifying and publishing flood information.
- Legacy flood study metadata is entered into an authoritative database by the relevant custodians to promote the effective communication of flood hazard, especially in areas of high priority, and to increase the coverage of information, in line with Council of Australian Governments (COAG) communications and commitments.
Benefits of supporting the portal
Benefits of the portal include:
- Centralised access to reliable flood information for members of the public, planners and researchers.
- Valuable resource for consultants in the preparation, design and analysis of future flood studies. The portal:
- gives inter-jurisdictional access to a large resource of flood studies;
- complements and is interoperable with existing or planned State- or Territory-wide flood information databases;
- informs gaps in flood study coverage;
- helps identify where flood studies may be in need of updating and;
- promotes the use of best practice in creating flood studies.
- Vehicle to promote the benefits of a standardised approach to flood studies and the delivery of flood related information.
- Assisting the insurance sector to better assess premiums through comparability of information from a number of studies across jurisdictions.
- Streamlining flood risk mitigation efforts nationally by:
- minimising duplication of effort in both flood modelling and data collection and;
- providing access to data to support cost effective mitigation interventions.