A long-term plan to reduce flood risk in the most flood exposed region in New South Wales, the Hawkesbury-Nepean Valley.
Floods in the Hawkesbury-Nepean Valley pose a significant risk to people’s lives, livelihoods and homes because of the valley’s unique landscape and the size of its population.
The valley covers 425 square kilometres of floodplain from Bents Basin, near Wallacia to the Brooklyn Bridge and includes Penrith, Richmond, Windsor, Wallacia and many surrounding suburbs. These areas are prone to rapid and deep flooding, and have the highest single flood exposure in NSW, if not Australia.
The NSW Government is now delivering Resilient Valley, Resilient Communities – Hawkesbury-Nepean Valley Flood Risk Management Strategy (the Flood Strategy). This long-term strategy is the result of four years of investigation into the best ways to reduce the risk to life, property and community from floods in the valley now and into the future. It contains a mix of measures designed to reduce flood risk and is being delivered with local councils, businesses and the community.
While there hasn’t been a major flood in the Hawkesbury-Nepean Valley for over 25 years, floods can and will happen again. Floods can happen in any year, and sometimes without much warning. We need to be prepared.
Phase one (2016-2020) - Implementing the Flood Strategy
In June 2016, the NSW Government committed around $58 million to implement phase one of the Flood Strategy. This phase is being delivered over four years from 2016 to 2020. It includes an environmental impact statement (EIS) and business case for the proposal to raise Warragamba Dam for flood mitigation, as well as a range of other important actions to reduce flood risk in the shorter term.
The strategy found that raising Warragamba Dam by around 14 metres to temporarily hold back flood waters is the most effective infrastructure option to reduce flood risk in the valley. This is because it would significantly reduce the risk to people’s lives downstream, provide more time for evacuation and reduce flood damages by around 75% on average, while balancing the impacts on the upstream environment. There are no other flood mitigation measures that can achieve the same risk reduction.
Over $30 million is allocated to detailed planning, environmental assessments and community consultation for this proposal. At the end of phase one, and subject to all planning approvals, a business case for the proposal will be provided to the NSW Government for consideration. WaterNSW, as the dam owner and operator, is preparing the EIS and detailed design for the proposal. For more information visit www.waternsw.com.au/wdr or phone 1800 932 066.
The Flood Strategy also includes a range of other infrastructure and non-infrastructure outcomes that must be part of the solution for managing ongoing flood risk. Work is underway on the following actions to reduce flood risk in the shorter term:
Infrastructure NSW is overseeing and coordinating this work.
For the latest progress on the Flood Strategy, visit the latest updates page.
Nothing can stop flooding completely in the Hawkesbury-Nepean Valley. People will always need to evacuate when directed to protect lives in a flood emergency. If you live or work in the valley, know your flood risk and be prepared.
Find out more about how to prepare for a flood on the NSW State Emergency Service website.
For emergency help in floods and storms, call the NSW SES on 132 500.
In life-threatening emergencies, call 000 (triple zero).
Work is currently underway to reduce and manage the significant flood-risk in the Hawkesbury-Nepean Valley. The September Community Update contains all the latest information.READ MORE
Come see us at the following locations to talk about flooding, the Flood Strategy program, and the proposal to raise Warragamba Dam Raising for flood mitigation.READ MORE
The Hawkesbury-Nepean Valley Flood Risk Management Directorate, Infrastructure NSW joined the NSW State Emergency Service (SES) at their tent again this year at the Hawkesbury Show from Friday 20 April to Sunday 22 April 2018.READ MORE
The Minister for Western Sydney Stuart Ayres and Member for Mulgoa Tanya Davies today announced significant progress on new flood evacuation signage for the Hawkesbury-Nepean Valley.
We will be joining the NSW SES at their tent again this year at the Hawkesbury Show 2018. Come see us at the show to talk about flooding, the Flood Strategy program, and how you can be involved.READ MORE
The Foundation for Rural and Regional Renewal (FRRR) has selected North Richmond for one of three community led emergency pilots in NSW.READ MORE
The cornerstone of the Flood Strategy is the proposal to raise Warragamba Dam for flood mitigation. The environmental assessment for this proposal has started, and the project team have been out and about talking to people across the valley.READ MORE
From 23 to 25 June 2017, Infrastructure NSW and NSW State Emergency Service took part in an anniversary program hosted by Hawkesbury City Council to mark 150 years since the historic Hawkesbury-Nepean flood – our worst since European settlement.READ MORE
NSW Treasurer and Member for Hawkesbury Dominic Perrottet and Minister for Western Sydney Stuart Ayres today released the long-term plan to mitigate flood risk for the Hawkesbury-Nepean Valley.READ MORE
The NSW Government has announced the Hawkesbury-Nepean Flood Risk Management Strategy to reduce the potential flood risk to life, the economy and social amenity in the Hawkesbury-Nepean Valley.READ MORE