Australian Flood Risk Information Portal

The Australian Flood Risk Information Portal (the portal) enables flood information, currently held by different sources, to be accessible from a single online location. The portal includes a database of flood study information and metadata (the Australian Flood Studies Database). The portal provides access to authoritative flood maps and flood studies, as well as information about surface water observations derived from the analysis of satellite imagery.

The portal incorporates tools that enable users to search, display and retrieve information. The data management tools and standards that have been developed for the portal will enable data custodians to standardise their data and upload it to the portal, or to make compliant data accessible via web services.

The information in the portal has been provided by local, state and territories governments. Contributing more flood studies will significantly enhance its value. It will improve our understanding of flood behaviour on a regional scale, which is essential because floods do not respect jurisdictional boundaries.

Share Flood Study Data

The Australian Flood Risk Information Portal (the portal) hosts data and tools that allow public discovery, visualisation and retrieval of flood studies, flood maps, satellite derived water observations and other related information from a central location.

The portal is focussed on providing access to flood information from authoritative sources. The main catalogue of information available through the portal is the Australian Flood Studies Database.

Information in the portal can be searched and accessed by all users, but only registered users can add flood studies and associated maps to the database. A registered user would typically have been responsible for the creation or publication of flood hazard information, and might include state authorities, local councils, consultants and authorised data custodians.

Data custodians can share their flood study information with other users either by adding data directly into the portal's data catalogue, the Australian Flood Studies Database, or via web services.

Data Entry Information
Information on entering data into the portal, including how to login or register to use the Data Entry Application.

Portal Framework
Describes the overarching approach taken in developing the portal, as well as the agreed principles and benefits supporting the portal.

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Data Entry Application

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Frequently Asked Questions

Why was the portal developed?

Following the devastating floods across Eastern Australia in 2011, the Australian Government initiated the Natural Disaster Insurance Review. This review highlighted the lack of consistency across the country in the way flood risk information was collected and made available to users. The review also recognised the need for consumers to be aware of the natural disaster risks they may face, as well as the benefits of making flood risk information more readily accessible.

In response to these findings, the Government established the National Flood Risk Information Project (NFRIP) with the aim of improving the quality, availability and accessibility of flood information across Australia and, in doing so, raise community awareness of flood risks. This four year project commenced on 1 July 2012 and delivered three products; the portal, Water Observations from Space and the Australian Rainfall and Runoff Guidelines. NFRIP supports the objectives of the National Strategy for Disaster Resilience (NSDR) adopted by Council of Australian Governments (COAG) in 2011; specifically, that Governments have effective arrangements in place to inform people about hazard and risk.

Who uses the portal?

The portal is used by engineers, insurers and planners to find out what flood mapping information exists, and where, so they can better understand risks. Researchers and consultants can learn what work has already occurred in their area of interest and identify what data may be available for use in future studies. Organisations can refine the scope of planned flood studies by understanding and applying lessons learnt from work undertaken in other regions. Others in the community can also use it to find out what flood information exists for the area that they live in.

What is a flood study?

A flood study is the scientific investigation of flooding in a particular area, usually the catchment of a river system. It may involve hydrologic and hydraulic investigations and a statistical analysis of the frequency with which floods have occurred. The purpose of a flood study is to predict the depth of water and the extent to which it will inundate the landscape in a modelled flood event.

What is a flood map?

A flood map is the result of hydrologic and hydraulic analysis by scientific subject matter experts, that takes into account many factors when developing models for various scenarios. Such factors might include: terrain, water catchments, flood marks and information from historical floods. A map can represent the extent of a flood, the probability of that event occurring and sometimes the depth of inundation in the modelled area.

Where are flood maps available?

Flood maps can be found by searching the Australian Flood Risk Information Portal (AFRIP). While some flood studies don't include separate mapping data, maps relevant to the specific study can be found in many of the attached flood study documents.

What is the Australian Flood Studies Database?

The Australian Flood Studies Database (AFSD) is the national data catalogue of flood study information that underpins the portal. The AFSD contains general information for available studies, including the study location, date, commissioning organisation and lead consultant, and metadata on flood studies and information on flood risk. The metadata is created through a purpose-built data entry application, and adheres to the Flood Studies Data Model XML schema which can be used by data custodians to structure and share their flood information with the portal via webservices.

How do I search the portal?

You can search for studies and maps by:

  1. selecting an Area on the Map
  2. an address search
  3. specifying your search parameters.

How do I access the actual report and maps?

Where available, these can be downloaded directly from the Details section in the Australian Flood Risk Information Portal once you have identified a study you are interested in. If the study you're interested in has no downloads, you will need to contact the commissioning organisation identified in the study record to determine if a copy of the report is available.

Has a flood warning alert been issued for my area?

Please check the Bureau of Meteorology - National Warnings Summary for details on flood warnings. The Australian Flood Risk Information Portal does not hold information on flood warnings.

What do I do in the event of a flood?

Contact your local State Emergency Services if you require assistance in the event of a flood. The Australian Flood Risk Information Portal is not a response tool.

Can I use or reproduce the information here?

The portal is maintained by Geoscience Australia. Unless otherwise noted, all information is available for re-use under Creative Commons 4.0 By Attribution (CC-BY) licensing. The ownership of each flood study remains with the commissioning organisation and/or author as indicated in the record on each study. Users of the database should refer to each specific flood study report to determine any constraints in its usage.

What if the database doesn't do what I need it to do?

Your feedback is input to the continued development of the database and the portal. Please share your feedback via the portal's feedback button.

What if information in the portal is incorrect?

Some of the flood studies contained in the database may be incomplete or may have been superseded by new material. Issues with the accuracy of the study itself should be referred to the commissioning organisation, typically a local council or state government agency. However, where incorrect information is displayed in the portal about a flood study, please share your feedback via the portal's feedback button.

Can I add a flood study or flood maps to the portal?

Registered data custodians can add flood studies and maps to the portal. Please notify Geoscience Australia via the portal's feedback button of any other published flood studies that aren't currently included in the database, but may be suitable for release through the portal.