We rely on floodplains for food and energy production, mining, transport and recreation; floodplains are also important for their biodiversity values.

Connectivity between the river, fringing wetlands, floodplains and the ocean is important for many species of fish to complete their life cycles. Flooding delivers long-term benefits to soils and agricultural production, exchanging nutrients between habitats.

Managing floods involves three main types of activities:

  • Prevention (or mitigation), involving the work before a flood;
  • Response, being the activities during a flood event; and
  • Recovery, covering the actions taken after a flood.

There are a number of authorities, municipal councils, emergency services and flood-affected communities involved in the management of floods and floodplains:

  • The Commonwealth Government is responsible for national flood management programs and flood forecasting;
  • The Victorian Government develops and implements state flood policy, and contributes funding to national flood management programs;
  • Catchment management authorities and Melbourne Water develop and implement regional floodplain management strategies in consultation with local stakeholders and communities;
  • They also provide flood advice to municipal councils and landholders;
  • Municipal councils regulate development through their planning schemes, co-fund flood studies and often manage flood mitigation infrastructure;
  • Landholders are accountable for flood management on their own properties. In such circumstances, local community knowledge and experience plays a key role in preparing for floods and reducing damage caused by floods.

The Emergency Management Manual Victoria provides a detailed description of the roles and responsibilities of a large number of agencies involved in flood prevention, response and recovery.

Visit the Emergency Management Victoria website

Page last updated: 30/01/23