National Flood Risk Information Project Current Activities

The National Flood Risk Information Project (NFRIP) will undertake three core activities, over the four years (July 2012-June 2016) of the project:

  • work towards making flood study mapping information freely available from a central location through an online flood portal;
  • analyse Geoscience Australia's historic archive of satellite imagery to derive water observations to help understand where flooding may have occurred in the past;
  • improve the quality of future flood information by completing the revision of the Australian Rainfall and Runoff (ARR).

The Australian Flood Information Portal (the portal) will provide free access to authoritative flood studies and associated flood mapping data to enable users to undertake their own analysis of the likelihood of flooding at a given location. Centralising this information will make it easier for planners, the public, insurers and engineering consultants to find existing flood mapping information, and to undertake their own risk assessments.

In developing the portal, Geoscience Australia is working with data custodians to populate the portal with flood study information - including maps showing flood extent, and water depth where available.

Geoscience Australia is also processing and making accessible the agency's historical archive of Landsat imagery from 1987 to 2012 to derive historic water observations. While this information doesn't directly identify flood extents, it provides an indication of where flooding may occur, and therefore is valuable in remote areas where flood studies have generally not been completed.

Phase 1: July-November 2012

The first phase of the project was completed in November 2012. It delivered on three significant outputs:

  • An enhanced Australian Flood Studies Database, including an expansion of the search capability and direct access to an increased number of flood studies.
  • An initial set of maps for three trial areas showing observations of water over the last ten years, derived from satellite imagery.
  • An agreement with Engineers Australia allowing the finalisation of the revision to the Australian Rainfall and Run-off (ARR) guidelines.

Phase 2: December 2012-November 2013

The second phase of the project was completed in November 2013. It saw significant advancement of the portal through:

  • Further enhancements to Australian Flood Studies Database that enable the display and download of available flood mapping.
  • Publication of guidelines and standards related to data entry.
  • Improvements to data entry and retrieval capabilities.
  • Establishment of pilot areas to test and demonstrate the portal tools.
  • Progress towards the analysis of satellite observations nationally.
  • Progress towards the completion of the ARR revision.

Phase 3: December 2013-November 2014

The current phase of NFRIP is focused on delivering further enhancements to the database with a focus on populating the portal with flood mapping information, and scoping the inclusion of additional data that will support flood risk management. Phase 3 will see:

  • Implementation of changes identified through the pilot program activities.
  • Population of the portal with additional flood mapping data.
  • National coverage for satellite imagery completed and transition to business-as-usual processing of data.
  • Continued progress towards the completion of the ARR revision.
  • Identification of additional flood data and information that could be made available through the portal.

Phase 4: December 2014-June 2016

NFRIP is scheduled for completion in June 2016, when we will see the main technical components of the project complete. Phase 4 will focus primarily on data collection and the completion of Australian Rainfall and Runoff revision. The portal and associated maintenance will transition to business-as-usual. During this last Phase Geoscience Australia will also scope the potential extension of the database to include data on more hazards after June 2016.

Updates relating to NFRIP activities are published in the project enewsletter NFRIP Update. To subscribe to future issues, please visit Geoscience Australia's online subscription page and follow the instructions.