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Flood hazard management

The department has been appointed as the Hazard Leader for flood as part of the State Emergency Management Plan.

As a Hazard Leader, the department leads and coordinates activities that help South Australia prepare for, manage and respond to such natural disasters. 

Flood hazard

The department is coordinating information about flood that enables emergency response agencies to plan and implement operational activities in emergency flood events

  • collating flood maps from across metropolitan and rural areas of South Australia to assist the public with learning about their flood risk 
  • undertaking risk assessments to identify the priority flood risks the state
  • providing advice to the community about River Murray flows in South Australia and advice to emergency managers on River Murray flood 
  • working with the State Emergency Service to provide information for community education programs for flood hazard
  • working with a range of 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. 

To find out your area’s risk of flood refer to the Flood Awareness Map. The map also allows you to:

  • access relevant flood information to inform you about flood risks
  • easily search for existing flood risks in your area
  • obtain more information about flood risks in your area.

Private dam maintenance and management in emergencies

There are more than 30 000 privately owned dams in South Australia. Some of these dams would pose a significant safety threat to downstream communities if they were to fail. Private dam owners often overlook their responsibility to maintain their dams, increasing the risks to downstream communities. Guidelines aimed at providing dam owners and emergency responders with more information about preventing and responding to such hazards have been recently developed for public use.  

The following documents are available:

Position papers for improved dam safety, levee bank and flood management in South Australia

The Department for Environment and Water, as the Flood Hazard Leader, has led the development of three position papers relating to flood management in South Australia in response to the Independent Review of the Extreme Weather Event South Australia 29 September-5 October 2016 (Burns Review).

The improving dam safety management and improving levee bank management position papers set out a framework to deliver improved dam safety and levee bank management to support flood management. Elements have undergone changes and refinement compared to the 2018 draft in response to stakeholder engagement. The position papers also outline proposed actions to implement the framework.

The third position paper, priorities for improved flood management in South Australia proposes a framework for improved flood management closely aligned to the National Disaster Risk Reduction Framework and considers stakeholder feedback on flood management priorities. The framework can help shape the updated Flood Hazard Plan, prioritise flood management effort in the coming years and create alignment with the implementation of the national framework.

View the 2019 consultation report for a summary of the responses on the draft position papers.

The position papers were endorsed by the State Emergency Management Committee in mid-2020. The Department for Environment and Water will now progress to implementation of proposed actions, seek funding and develop proposals for regulatory reform. 

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