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Improving Victoria's flood warning systems

We are improving Victoria’s flood warning systems to better prepare for flood emergencies with the help of:

  • FloodZoom
  • flood warning system improvements
  • flood mapping and risk assessments
  • stream flow gauging network upgrades.

Several factors go into predicting and mapping floods to create efficient and accurate warnings. Flood prediction work can include:

  • rainfall
  • streamflow gauges
  • geography
  • directional prediction
  • mapping.

Flood warning systems

Victoria’s flood warning system includes:

  • rainfall and streamflow gauging
  • mapping
  • warnings
  • predictions
  • community education.

All elements need to work together to warn communities about approaching floods. Victorians in flood-prone areas will receive accurate and timely flood warnings tailored to their community. This improves flood preparedness and response activities, while also helping with planning decisions

Flood mapping and risk assessments

The Victorian Government invests in flood studies and data collection projects across the state. Flood studies help by:

  • assessing the flood risk for a community
  • evaluating flood mitigation options
  • providing detailed flood mapping for the area.

By gathering and collating information, these studies give us information to create effective warning and response plans. They also supply high quality mapping for land use planning. We will integrate this information with FloodZoom. The results will also feed into SES Victoria’s Flood Safe program which raises awareness, educates and prepares communities for flooding.

The Victorian Flood Data and Mapping Guidelines provide a reference for flood risk mapping and flood data collection. The resource can be used to design and run a flood study

Use of the guidelines should form the basis for a consistent approach to flood mapping and flood data collection between:

  • study investors
  • project managers
  • local communities.

Local flood information and mapping for the public

You can get the latest floodplain mapping information by contacting:

  • Melbourne Water if you are in the metropolitan area
  • Your local catchment management authority if you are in a regional area.

Streamflow gauging network upgrades

A vital part of the flood warning system is the streamflow-gauging network. It has 750 gauging sites that have several purposes, including 283 that are flood warnings sites. These gauges provide vital, real-time river height data. Other sites provide further backup data and flash flooding information.

We will continue to upgrade river and rainfall gauges across the state and 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 (the Bureau). This helps to predict flood severity and the timeframe for particular levels of flooding.

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


We have developed FloodZoom, a groundbreaking web tool used by flood analysts to access:

  • flood forecasts
  • flood mapping
  • real time river height gauges.

Flood response agencies can also access property data information. This helps with improving their understanding of the likely impacts of floods.

Victorians in flood-prone areas will receive accurate and timely flood warnings tailored to their community. This improves flood preparedness and response activities while also helping with planning decisions.

Page last updated: 08/09/23