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:
- 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.
If you have access to geographic information system (GIS) software and expertise, the Victoria Flood Database (VFD) has been developed as a single point of access to flood related data in Victoria. The VFD collates historic and modeled flood extents, depths and velocities for flood events covering a range of magnitudes, as well as information on the location of levees in Victoria.
We’re always improving the VFD to meet changes in technology and to add results from contemporary flood studies.
- Download the 2014 vector version of the VFD from the Victorian Government Data Directory
- Raster products are available on request from Floodplain.Management@delwp.vic.gov.au
The data outputs of Government funded flood studies must be provided in a specific format for inclusion in the VFD and to meet the requirements of the State’s flood emergency decision support tool, FloodZoom. To help you format data correctly and meet the requirements of the VFD, we’ve created update specifications and a geodatabase template. Floodplain managers and flood mapping professionals can access these tools via the FloodZoom About menu or by request from Floodplain.Management@delwp.vic.gov.au.
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.