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Brisbane River catchment flood studies

The Queensland Government and local councils are working on a long-term plan to manage the impact of floods and improve community safety and resilience within the Brisbane River catchment.

This work supports recommendation 2.2 from the Queensland Floods Commission of Inquiry (PDF, 320KB) that a comprehensive flood study of the Brisbane River catchment be completed as soon as practicable, with the aim of identifying the probability and extent of various floods occurring.

Flood Study

The Brisbane River Catchment Flood Study is the most comprehensive study of its kind to be undertaken in Australia.

The Flood Study area includes parts of the Brisbane River catchment, with a focus on flooding events downstream of Wivenhoe Dam including the Brisbane River, Lockyer Creek and the Bremer River system.

Two major components of the Flood Study are the hydrologic and hydraulic assessments.

  • The hydrologic assessment investigated how combinations of rainfall, dam levels, ground conditions and tide influences could merge to create potential floods events within the floodplain. This assessment considered the entire Brisbane River catchment (including the Lockyer Valley and other regions outside of the Brisbane River floodplain).
  • The hydraulic assessment used the data inputs from the hydrology assessment to model how floodwaters progressed through the Brisbane River floodplain, taking into account terrain characteristics of rivers, creeks and floodplains, and infrastructure such as bridges, stormwater networks, dams and levees. The hydraulic assessment generated flood modelling for the lower Brisbane River downstream of Wivenhoe Dam.

The Flood Study provides a comprehensive analysis of a range of flood events that may occur within the Brisbane River catchment and is a critical first step toward developing a Strategic Floodplain Management Plan for the region.

More information

View the Flood Study Technical reports and request a copy of the Flood Study Model.

Local Government flood mapping tools

The Flood Study is a regional study and property owners should contact their local council for more specific information relating to flood mapping for individual properties.  Current local flood mapping information is available online at:

Councils will consider the Flood Study information to identify any necessary changes to flood products, tools and policies. Each council will apply the Flood Study to their planning schemes and current development applications according to their own internal policies and procedures, as appropriate. For further information on this, contact your local council.

Brisbane River Strategic Floodplain Management Plan

A range of small and large flood events are modelled in the Flood Study that will increase our ability to plan for a wide variety of emergency responses and decisions about critical infrastructure which must consider larger, less frequent floods.

A Strategic Floodplain Management Plan is currently being developed to provide a coordinated and consistent approach throughout the Brisbane River floodplain for land-use planning, building controls, disaster management, community resilience and prioritisation of flood related infrastructure. This approach will then be used to inform the development of local floodplain management plans.

For further information visit the Queensland Reconstruction Authority website.

Further information

Read the report on the implementation of the current levee regulatory framework.