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Topics > Flood

Planning and roles

Flood management in South Australia is a shared responsibility between the Australian Government, South Australian Government, local governments, communities and industries.

Flood hazard leader and Flood Hazard Plan

Under the State Emergency Management Plan, the Department for Environment and Water is the flood hazard leader and is responsible for developing the Flood Hazard Plan (pdf). The plan explains the specific arrangements for how floods are managed and coordinated in South Australia.

The flood hazard leader also prepares and coordinates information to enable emergency response agencies to plan and implement operations in emergency flood events, including:

  • collating flood maps across metropolitan and rural South Australia to help the public understand their flood risk
  • undertaking risk assessments to identify and prioritise new and recurring flood risks
  • providing advice about River Murray flows and flood in the state
  • working with the SA State Emergency Service to provide information for community education programs for flood hazards and flood warnings
  • working with government agencies, councils and other stakeholders to improve flood management in areas such as flood warning, land use planning, community awareness, mitigation and emergency management.

Flood Control Agency

During a flood event, the SA State Emergency Service is the flood control agency. They coordinate the emergency response and provide information on how to stay informed, take action and look after yourself and others before, during and after a flood. Visit SA State Emergency Service - Flood.

Flood recovery

After a flood has occurred, the Department for Premier and Cabinet’s Security, Emergency and Recovery Management Team coordinates recovery and recovery assistance following a flood. See the Government of SA's Recovery for more information.

Check our useful links for a list of organisations involved in flood emergencies, planning and recovery.

Independent Review of the Extreme Weather Event 2016

In 2018, the South Australian Government lodged its final report in response to the Independent Review of the Extreme Weather Event 2016 (pdf) (the Burns Review).

All recommended actions relating to flood risk were reported as complete. See the Flood Hazard Plan section 10.2 for more information.

Statewide priorities

In response to the Burns review, the South Australian Government developed a position paper in 2020 outlining priorities for improved flood management in South Australia. You can access it here:

Three key actions were proposed and are now completed:

  1. Develop a coordinated approach to address barriers to sharing of flood risk data and mapping; this culminated in the Flood Hazard Plan
  2. Further improve the consideration of flood risk in land use planning through the Flood Overlay and the Planning and Design Code; this action is being completed by AGD-PLUS in the project described above
  3. Complete a state-wide flood risk assessment.