Predicting floods, mapping them, and creating efficient, accurate warnings is a many-faceted process. A number factors contribute to this, including rainfall and streamflow gauges, geography, and directional prediction and mapping.

DELWP is improving Victoria's flood warning systems to better prepare Victoria for flood emergencies. There are four main programs of work in this area:

  • FloodZoom;
  • Flood warning system improvements;
  • Flood mapping and risk assessments; and
  • Stream flow gauging network upgrades.

DELWP has developed a groundbreaking, web-based tool that provides an authoritative range of flood information, before, during and after floods – all in the one resource.

FloodZoom brings together flood forecasts, flood mapping, real-time river height gauges and property data to provide flood response agencies with improved knowledge of likely flood impacts.

It has been developed to assist regional and state flood response agencies monitor floods and predict potential impacts.

Victorians in flood-prone communities will benefit from more accurate and timely flood warnings that are specific to their local community, improved flood preparedness and flood response activities, and better informed planning decisions.

Victoria's flood warning system involves several elements: rainfall and streamflow gauging, mapping, warnings, predictions and community education.

All pieces need to work in order for the total system to give communities effective warnings about approaching floods.

Since the floods of 2010-11, the Victorian Government has embarked on a program to improve flood warning systems, in partnership with local councils.

Victoria has invested in flood mitigation works for five Victorian communities.

DELWP, in partnership with the Commonwealth Government, has funded flood studies in 70 of Victoria's most flood-prone communities, with more planned.

The flood studies assess flood risk for a community and evaluate flood mitigation options. They also provide detailed flood mapping for the area.

The studies are gathering and collating the information needed to create effective warning and response plans. They also supply high quality mapping for land-use planning.

This information, including maps and photography, will be integrated with Flood Zoom. The results will also feed into SES Victoria's Flood Safe program to raise awareness, educate and prepare communities for floods.

The Victorian Flood Data and Mapping Guidelines provide a reference for flood risk mapping and flood data collection. This resource sets a standard for flood mapping in Victoria to meet the needs of a range of users, including land use planning, assessing risks to Aboriginal cultural heritage, insurance and emergency response. The guidelines should be used as the basis for a consistent approach to flood mapping and flood data collection between study investors, project managers and local communities.

Victorian Flood Data and Mapping Guidelines (PDF, 1.3 MB)
Victorian Flood Data and Mapping Guidelines (Accessible) (DOCX, 100.0 KB)

The Victoria Flood Database (VFD) is a database which collects, collates, analyses and presents Victoria's flood information.

The VFD is only available to flood analysts and authorised flood data creators. The information is available in geographic information system (GIS) formats requiring specialised GIS software. Data must be input into the VFD as GIS layers in particular coverage formats.

The VFD provides flood levels for a range of events, from moderate to extreme, as well as historic levels. Other spatial information contained within the VFD includes flood extents, velocities, hazards and water surface elevations, as well as information on levees and floor levels.

To assist flood data creators, VFD update specifications (PDF, 1.9 MB) and a VFD geodatabase template (ZIP, 193.0 KB) is available. For each unique flood study, geographic information should be grouped and stored within its own geodatabase.

The VFD update specification and geodatabase template will be updated from time to time to meet the technical requirements of FloodZoom. Flood data creators should check that they are using the most up to date versions prior to formatting data for inclusion in the VFD.

For more information about the Victorian Flood Database and the update specifications, contact Floodplain.Management@delwp.vic.gov.au.

VFD2 Update Specifications (PDF, 1.9 MB)
VFD geodatabase template (ZIP, 193.0 KB)

A vital part of the flood warning system is the Victorian streamflow-gauging network. It has 750 gauging sites that serve a range of purposes, including 283 that are used as primary flood warnings sites.

These gauges provide vital, real-time river height data. Other sites are used to provide further backup data and flash flooding information.

DELWP continues to upgrade river and rainfall gauges across the state, so they provide real-time river height and rainfall readings. We are also installing rainfall and streamflow gauges at priority locations.

We feed the flood warning information acquired through the Victorian streamflow gauging network straight to the Bureau of Meteorology (BoM) so it can predict flood severity and time of onset of particular levels of flooding.

The BoM then develops warning messages and distributes them to response agencies, selected media and the community.

A vital part of the flood warning system is the Victorian streamflow-gauging network. It has 750 gauging sites that serve a range of purposes, including 283 that are used as primary flood warnings sites.

These gauges provide vital, real-time river height data. Other sites are used to provide further backup data and flash flooding information.

DELWP continues to upgrade river and rainfall gauges across the state, so they provide real-time river height and rainfall readings. We are also installing rainfall and streamflow gauges at priority locations.

We feed the flood warning information acquired through the Victorian streamflow gauging network straight to the Bureau of Meteorology (BoM) so it can predict flood severity and time of onset of particular levels of flooding.

The BoM then develops warning messages and distributes them to response agencies, selected media and the community.