Floods are often seen as unexpected disasters, yet they are part of the natural water cycle and will inevitably occur from time to time. They can severely disrupt communities and can cause damage to property, loss of stock and crops and even human life in extreme cases.
At the same time floods can also replenish wetlands and deposit fertile soil and minerals onto the floodplain. This helps sustain biological diversity as well as benefiting agriculture and some mining sectors.
Our early pioneers often settled close to rivers and on floodplains, principally for reasons associated with water supply, transportation, waste disposal, advantageous points for river crossings, access to productive soils, or recreation purposes. Some of these settlements have now grown into cities, major towns and highly productive agricultural areas, while other areas have been mined for sand, gravel, gold and other minerals.