Demystifying Flood Models

The Purpose of this Workshop

Outputs from a flood model are a fundamental information source for flood risk management stakeholders as they undertake a myriad of tasks.  Any potential responses to flood risk is built from an awareness of various flood details – in conjunction with the specific community and local context issues for managing flood risk.

So for practioners involved in looking options of “Response to Risk”  – how well do they understand and appreciate how the flood information is derived??

In this event, we offered an opportunity to explore the purpose of flood models for non-modelers and for any modelers who do not have a strong experience in flood modelling. We assumed that participants have some basic awareness of various catchment and hydrologic behaviours – but for many how that is integrated into a technical forecasting and estimation tool is a mystery!!

Hence the “Demystifying” tag in the Title – but more importantly let us explore what a flood model can and cannot do and present this to the participants in a way that enables them to have a much more confident appreciation of how the information was developed and how it can be best used.

Feedback from participants on how they respond to modelling challenges and what sort of roles they had

Overview – History of Flood Models

To give a context of how models for flood analysis have developed, Tony McAlister provided a foundational perspective of the history of models that have been used.

To see the presentation – click here

Safe use of Models

Based on ensuring models are best used wisely James Weidmann  shared practical principles to ensure models are used “safely”.

To see his presentation click here

Interpretation and Visualisation

The application of models and the data that is generated from them has allowed the QUT Viser team of Gavin Winter and Thom Saunders to build a suite of visual applications over recent years.

Today they shared a mix of those displays.

Key Highlights from each talk

Snapshot of group activity to see where flood model information was being used by colleagues to consider flood risk reduction options

Case Study – Local Government application of flood models

Regular use of flood models is common for Local Government colleagues looking at a range of forecasting tasks.  Here Alana Mosley – from City of Moreton Bay – shared what types of tasks she often needs to undertake with the assistance of flood analysis.

To see her presentation – please click here 

Case Study – Research into the impact of climate change on catchment runoff

As a focus of his PhD studies Rohan Eccles was eager to share how his investigation was able to utilise model analysis to look at future forecasts of runoff.

To see his presentation – please click here. 

Communication needs of sharing flood information to various stakeholders

Using their experience in applied flood risk reduction projects with a range of clients, Tahlia Rossi and Richard Sharp.   The various information types is one factor and the purpose for dealing with the risk all influence how this best shared.

To see their joint presentation – please click here.

Key Highlights from each talk

Snapshot of discussion and examples of different ways flood risk information  is used

Who came to the event?

At this hybrid event of online (26 participants) and face to face (41 participants) saw colleagues join us from throughout eastern Australia (Brisbane & SEQ, Townsville, cairns Melbourne plus Turkey and Bangladesh).

There were colleagues from:

  • Consulting companies – Meridian Urban; Aither; BMT; Alluvium; WRM Water & Environment; Hydrobiology; DHI; Esri Australia; AirBorn Insight; Calibre Group; Arup; Deltares; AECOM; Aurecon; 80 C Pay Ltd
  • Research roles – CRCWSC, Australian Rivers Institute, Griffith University, James Cook University; University of the Sunshine Coast; QUT; Monash University
  • Local Government – Logan City Council; Lockyer Valley Regional Council and Moreton Bay Regional Council
  • State Government Agencies – From Queensland – Treasury; Department of Environment and Science and DNRME plus from  South Australia Department for Environment and Water
  • Water Utilities – Seqwater
  • Industry – Suncorp, Floodplain Management Australia, JDA
  • Education and training – International WaterCentre, UQ and Thoughts drawn out