Flood mapping and GIS

Flood mapping and GIS

Cutting-edge mapping technology is critical for successfully ‘flood proofing’ the nation, according to one of Australia’s most reputable water management advisors.

The message comes as calls for a nationwide approach to flood mapping have increased after extreme weather in New South Wales and Queensland over the past summer resulted in the second flood crisis for the east coast in as many years.

Areas such as Bundaberg and Grafton saw hundreds of millimetres of rain fall in single days, resulting in mass evacuations and more than half a billion dollars in insurance claims.

Speaking to an audience of more than 200 spatial professionals in Melbourne today, Water Technology Senior Principal Spatial Analyst Georgina Race said Geographic Information System (GIS) technology was integral to both preparing and responding to future flood events.

“GIS technology enables us to map the massive amounts of data that must be taken into consideration when projecting the outcome of large rainfall events,” Ms Race said.

“This data includes land elevation and characteristics, past flood levels, infrastructure building information and seawater levels.

“The technology brings all this information together and allows us to run modelling of the impacts of various rainfall scenarios – such as storm events, sea level rises and even new building and infrastructure developments – to understand the level of inundation that may take place.

“Once inundation is understood, people – from businesses, governments and even the general public – can make better decisions about how to put mitigation measures in place, where to build, how to manage emergency response, and determine numerous other measures that can help reduce the effects of flooding.”

Using world-leading GIS technology from intelligent mapping consultants Esri Australia and hydrodynamic modelling, Water Technology provides flood and consultation services to a range of organisations from developers and insurers, to emergency services and all levels of government.

First printed here

About The Author

Warwick Bishop
Warwick is a Director of Water Technology and has over 20 years of experience in surface water management. He has led a wide variety of projects covering areas such as flood risk management, water quality, sediment transport, coastal hazard, WSUD and environmental flows. Warwick has an Honours Degree in Civil Engineering from the University of Melbourne and a Masters of Engineering Science Degree from Monash University, investigating the detailed hydraulics of stormwater treatment wetlands. Warwick has experience throughout Australia in both rural and urban contexts. Since 2011 he has provided specialist input to the Flood Intelligence Unit of SES during both catchment and coastal flood emergencies. He is actively involved in Engineers Australia and is the current chair of the Victorian Water Engineering Branch Committee. Warwick has also contributed to the revision of Australian Rainfall and Runoff, with a particular focus on the application of flood models in urban areas.

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