Bega Valley Shire Council engaged consultants SMEC Australia to undertake a flood study for the Bega and Brogo River catchments to update its current flood mapping in light of recent flood events during 2010, 2011 and 2012.
The flood study forms an initial stage towards development of a comprehensive Floodplain Risk Management Plan, in accordance with the NSW Floodplain Development Manual, the management of flood liable land, April 2005.
Council has taken the initiative to carry out the flood study to assist with planning for and managing the risk the community faces from flooding.
The final flood study report will form the technical basis of a future floodplain risk management study and plan that incorporates the management and consideration of social/cultural/economic impacts.
The Office of Environment and Heritage (OEH) and the Ministry of Police and Emergency Services (MPES) supported Council by providing funding and technical assistance for the project through the NSW Government’s Floodplain Management Program.
Floodplains are the commercial, social and environmental arteries of the State. Transport and communication infrastructure are often located in floodplains which, generally as the more fertile areas and are a base for a significant proportion of the State’s agricultural business. Regular flooding enhances agricultural productivity by increasing soil moisture, recharging groundwater and depositing fertile silt across the floodplain. However, flooding can also interfere with production, communication, transport, emergency management and agricultural practices. Therefore development and management of floodplains needs to consider a broad range of issues including balancing the benefits of occupying the floodplain against the costs.
Consultation was carried out via formal public exhibition and the invitation of public comment and submissions, a community flood questionnaire and a number of print media releases and radio interviews throughout the project. Council also resolved to form and convene a Floodplain Risk Management Focus Group. Government agency and Councillor representation has now been determined with the selection of community representatives still yet to be finalised.
Environmental concerns such as climate change and sea level rise have been addressed in the final flood study report in accordance with current NSW Government Guidelines and requirements for flood study projects. Other environmental concerns will be addressed in a subsequent flood risk management study and plan following community consultation at that time.
The Executive summary of the final flood study reports findings and methodology.
Read it here: Bega and Brogo Rivers Flood Study or look at the individual chapters below.