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Brisbane River catchment flood study

A new study of the Brisbane River catchment will ensure that the best available information is used to assess the likelihood and impact of future floods on the Brisbane River catchment. This is a key recommendation of the 2011 Queensland Floods Commission of Inquiry.

The study will deliver consistent, up-to-date technical flood data for local governments across the Brisbane River catchment, to help predict flood risk for individual properties.

It will be based on the best available information and the results will be reviewed by an independent panel of experts to ensure they are robust and represent best practice. The data will also inform land use planning in South East Queensland.

The study will be completed by early 2017. It's being delivered in collaboration with other Queensland Government departments and the local governments of Brisbane, Ipswich, Somerset and Lockyer Valley.

The Queensland Government has engaged Aurecon Australia, partnering with Royal HaskoningDHV, Hydrobiology, Deltares and Don Carroll Project Management to complete a comprehensive hydrologic assessment as part of the study.

A hydraulic modelling specialist consultancy company, BMT WBM, has also been appointed to undertake a hydraulic assessment.

The comprehensive flood study comprises two major components i.e. hydrology and hydraulics. Both components are done with the aid of sophisticated technical models and up to date data/information for the catchment.

  • Hydrology quantifies the volume of water draining from a catchment over time, taking into account the rainfall and catchment conditions. 
  • Hydraulics describes the physical behaviour of water as it moves over the land surface, floodplain and pipe network into the creek or river, and finally into the sea.

The results from the hydrologic assessments feed into the hydraulic assessment to determine flood parameters for the catchment including inundation depth, extent and duration of flooding and water velocity. Together, the hydrologic and hydraulic assessments will provide important information to help better plan for and minimise the impacts of future floods in the Brisbane River Catchment.

Study area

The study area includes the Brisbane River catchment, with a focus on areas downstream of Wivenhoe Dam including Lockyer Creek, the Bremer River and major tributaries such as Oxley Creek.

Scope of investigation

The study will be a comprehensive technical investigation of Brisbane River flood behaviour and downstream effects. It will ensure that any future flood risk assessment takes into account the complex and variable nature of rainfall and flooding in the catchment.

The major output of the study will be an up-to-date, consistent and agreed to set of hydrological and hydraulic models. These models will build on the existing work undertaken by the Brisbane River catchment councils, Seqwater and the State Government. These models will take on the lessons learnt from the recent floods. They will also have improved spatial coverage and take advantage of advances in computer modeling.

Following its completion in early 2017, the study and its outputs will be available for use by local councils. It'll be used to assess flood risk management options, strategies and plans for the Brisbane River Catchment Floodplain Management Study and Plan.

Find out more

Floodplain Management Team (DNRM)
GPO Box 15216,


Last updated: 12 January 2016

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