Hawkesbury-Nepean Valley Flood Management Review
Stage One of the Review
The Hawkesbury-Nepean Valley Flood Management Review commenced in early 2013, in response to the Government's adoption of The State Infrastructure Strategy 2012-2032 and ongoing community concerns about flood risk. This Review concluded the first stage of the assessment of current flood mitigation arrangements.
In 2012, extensive flooding across south-eastern Australia, including the Hawkesbury-Nepean Valley, saw Warragamba Dam spill for the first time in 14 years. This raised awareness about the potential impacts of flooding.
In response, the NSW Government began the Hawkesbury-Nepean Valley Flood Management Review to consider flood planning, flood mitigation and flood response in the Hawkesbury-Nepean Valley.
The review was chaired by the NSW Office of Water and involved the Department of Premier and Cabinet, Sydney Catchment Authority, NSW State Emergency Service, NSW Treasury, Office of Environment and Heritage, Department of Planning and Infrastructure and Department of Finance and Services.
Read or download the Hawkesbury-Nepean Valley Flood Management Review – project overview (PDF 123 KB).
Stage One of the Review presented its findings to Government in late 2013.
Key findings of Stage One of the Review
The Review concluded that there is no simple solution or single infrastructure option that can address all of the flood risk in the Hawkesbury-Nepean Valley floodplain. The risk will continue to increase with population growth.
The review has identified that infrastructure options can reduce, but not eliminate the risk to life and property in the Valley.
Evacuation is the only mitigation measure that can guarantee to reduce risk to life, and that detailed investigation is required to support an integrated approach to reduce overall flood risk in the Valley.
The Review developed ten potential strategies for further consideration to improve flood risk management in the Hawkesbury-Nepean Valley - grouped under three major categories – infrastructure – governance – and non-infrastructure.
Management of the flood risk in the Hawkesbury-Nepean Valley includes mitigating the impact of flood, planning and preparedness for flooding, as well as response to and recovery from floods.
The potential infrastructure strategies include works that can be built to mitigate floods, as well as the enhancement of flood evacuation capacity through improved transport infrastructure.
The review identified several priority areas for action:
- increasing flood awareness and preparedness in the community
- the enhancement of emergency planning, response and recovery
- better consideration of flood risk in land use planning
- detailed cost benefit assessment of potential infrastructure options
- reviewing effective flood management arrangements.
For more information on the review's findings, read or download:
- Hawkesbury-Nepean Valley Flood Management Review Findings - questions and answers (PDF 62 KB)
- Summary Report on the Hawkesbury-Nepean Valley Flood Management Review Stage One (PDF 889 KB)
- Hawkesbury-Nepean Valley Flood Management Review Stage One: Review Report (PDF 3.2 MB)
Next Stage of the Review
The NSW Government has established a task force to lead Stage Two of the Review into flood management and preparedness in the Hawkesbury-Nepean Valley. Stage Two builds upon the preliminary investigations completed in Stage One which looked at the current flood management and planning in the valley to identify opportunities to improve the ways in which future floods are managed.
The task force will be working with key stakeholders as it undertakes its priority tasks, including local councils, the insurance industry, flood and water management and other government agencies.
The immediate priority of the task force is building the resilience and preparedness of the communities and businesses of the Hawkesbury-Nepean Valley to future flood.
Stage Two of the review will undertake a detailed cost benefit assessment of the most practical and cost effective flood mitigation options for the government to consider.
Additional information will be published here when it becomes available.