Flood study provides greater understanding of Brisbane River behaviour

The Brisbane River Catchment Flood Study – Australia’s most comprehensive flood study ever undertaken – is being used to help inform land-use planning, disaster management and building community resilience.The Brisbane River Catchment Flood Study – Australia’s most detailed and comprehensive flood study ever undertaken – is being used to help inform land-use planning, disaster management and building community resilience.

The four-year study is aimed at providing greater understanding of the Brisbane River’s behaviour across four council areas in South East Queensland – Brisbane, Ipswich, Somerset and Lockyer Valley.

It incorporates 170 years of historical rainfall data and investigated 11,340 scenarios that influence flooding in relation to the Brisbane River catchment area, which spans more than 13,500 square kilometres with the floodplain downstream of Wivenhoe Dam.

“This was an incredibly comprehensive process involving more than 50,000 computer simulations which has helped us produce Australia’s first ever whole of catchment flood study,” said Deputy Premier and Minister for Infrastructure and Planning Jackie Trad.

“The Queensland Floods Commission of Inquiry recommended this study because there is currently no single flood model that councils can use that provided a common and consistent basis for land-use planning, disaster management and building community resilience.

“This study provides a comprehensive analysis of a range of potential flood events, which is a critical first step towards developing a strategy that will set out flood resilience options for the region.”

Brisbane City Council Mayor Graham Quirk said that a coordinated effort was important as the region has a long history of major floods recorded back as far as 1893.

“In the past the way we planned for flooding was divided by local government area but we know that floods have no respect for council boundaries,” Cr Quirk said.

“By focusing on the entire catchment, we are able to bring together councils and stakeholders across the Brisbane River floodplain, using comprehensive and consistent information to improve the safety of our communities.”

Ipswich City Council Mayor Paul Pisasale said the study was all about working together to understand the potential for flooding across the region.

“While councils are still the best source of information for detailed, localised flood information, the Brisbane River Catchment Flood Study will support a more coordinated approach to managing floods across all levels of government in the future,” Cr Pisasale said.

The flood models developed as a result of the study have been verified against the flood events that occurred in 1974, 2011 and 2013 and endorsed by an independent panel of experts.

More information about the flood study can be found at: www.qldra.org.au/BRCFS

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