About the Portal

 

The Australian Flood Risk Information Portal (the portal) is an initiative of the Australian Government, established following the devastating floods across Eastern Australia in 2011. The portal is a key component of the National Flood Risk Information Project (NFRIP), and aims to provide a single point of access to Australian flood information.

Currently much of Australia's existing flood information is dispersed across disparate sources, making it difficult to find and access. The portal will host data and tools that allow public discovery, visualisation and retrieval of flood studies, flood maps, satellite derived water observations and other related information, all from a single location.

The portal will host standards and guidelines for use by jurisdictions and information custodians to encourage best practice in the development of new flood risk information. While the portal will initially host existing flood information, the architecture has been designed to allow the portal content to grow over time to meet the needs of users. The aim is for the portal to display data for a range of scenarios from small to extreme events, though this will be dependent on stakeholder contributions.

Geoscience Australia's Australian Flood Studies Database is the portal's data store of flood study information. The database includes metadata created through a purpose-built data entry application, and over time, information harvested from state-operated catalogues. For each entry the portal provides a summary of the flood study, including information on how the study was done, what data was used, what flood maps were produced and for what scenarios, as well as details on the custodian and originating author. If the study included an assessment of damage, details such as estimates of annual average damage, or the number of properties affected during a flood of a particular likelihood will also be included. During the last phase of development downloadable flood study reports and their associated flood maps have been added to the portal where available.

As the portal is populated it will increasingly host mapped flood data, or link to flood data and maps held in authoritative databases hosted by State and Territory bodies. Mapping data to be made accessible through the portal will include flood extents and to a lesser degree information on water depths.

The portal will also include water observations obtained from Geoscience Australia's historic archive of Landsat imagery. This data will show whether a particular location was 'wet' at some point during the past 30 years. While this imagery does not necessarily represent the peak of a flood or show water depth, the data will support the validation and verification process of hydrologic and hydraulic flood modelling. This work will prove useful particularly in rural areas where there is little or no flood information.

The portal also provides flood information custodians with the ability to either upload mapped data directly to the portal or to make this data accessible via web services. Data management tools and standards, developed through NFRIP, will enable data custodians to map their data to agreed standards for delivery through the portal. A portal framework and supporting principles has been developed to guide the maintenance and development of the portal.