Riverine flood maps

Canberra has been planned around water. Our artificial lake system was designed and built as settling ponds for stormwater from the suburbs. Our suburbs and stormwater systems are planned to cope with a major riverine* flood event.

A major flood is defined as one that has a 1% chance of happening in any given year, known as 1% Annual Exceedance Probability (AEP) and formerly known as the 100 year flood. The only records of major floods are Woden in 1971 (Yarralumla Creek) and Lyneham in 2018 (Sullivan’s Creek).

Despite the very low risk of flooding, the ACT Government is implementing national best practice flood risk management. The revised flood maps incorporate the latest data collection, mapping and analysis tools.

The maps (displayed on the ACT Government’s ACTmapi website) show the expected extent and depth of flood water and the hazard potential within each catchment across the ACT during a major flood event. The Government will use the maps to highlight flood risk areas, improve planning and mitigation and help the community better prepare for and respond to flood events.

Government will work with property owners who may be potentially affected to help them better understand how to keep themselves safe and respond if there is a flood in their area.

Where practicable, Government will use the revised information to investigate possible options to safeguard against flooding. Any flood-related works by the ACT Government will involve careful investigation, planning and funding consideration through the budget process. Where considerable engineering infrastructure works are required to reduce the flood risk, Government will seek to combine these with other major project initiatives, such as the urban renewal proposed in the City and Gateway Project, and major arterial road re-alignments and upgrades. Community consultation will be a consideration in any decision making.

Through the Insurance Council of Australia, the insurance industry will incorporate the revised flood maps into their insurance assessments for homes in Canberra. There is the potential for premiums to be revised in light of this. The Government advises, however, that this is a matter for the policy holder and the insurer to discuss.

Links for further flood information

See the recently revised flood maps at actmapi.

Instructions:

  • Choose the flood icon on the home page of the actmapi website and accept the terms.
  • Choose the ‘Layers’ icon at the top of the ‘Flood information’.
  • Tick the map you want to see (‘Flood extent’, ‘Flood depth’ or ‘Flood hazard’) by clicking on the icon.
  • To see more detail, tick the box underneath (e.g. if you choose ‘Flood depth’, choose ‘Depth in metres’ and click on the icon to see the different colours that indicate different flood depths).
  • The map is interactive so you can zoom and scroll.
  • To see satellite imagery, please choose the ‘Select a basemap’ icon at the bottom left of the map and choose ‘2018 imagery’.

Catchment information sheets:

See some frequently asked questions and answers relating to flooding, flood risk and the flood map information.

For safety information, visit the Emergency Services Agency.

Community information sessions

If you would like to find out more about the new maps, flooding and flood safety, please attend one of the community information sessions:

Wednesday 12 December: 

  • The Mawson Club, 10 Heard St, Mawson
  • 4-7 pm

Thursday 13 December:

  • The Belconnen Soccer Club, 3 Springvale Drive, Weetangera
  • 4-7 pm

Wednesday 19 December:

  • The Ainslie Football Club, 52 Wakefield Avenue, Ainslie
  • 4-7 pm

* Riverine floods occur when heavy rainfall finds its way down rivers and other waterway channels, causing water levels to rise and overflow their banks,inundating surrounding low-lying land. The more intense the rainfall, the more water converges along the rivers. This can occur due to prolonged rainfall over a number of days or, as is often the case in the Canberra Region, because of short duration storms producing intense rainfall in isolated parts of a catchment.

In Canberra, our watercourses are the Molonglo River and several major creeks. Parts of these creeks are now concrete stormwater drains (e.g. Sullivan’s Creek, Yarralumla Creek and Tuggeranong Creek).