Living with floods: key lessons from Australia & abroad

Following the serious flood events in 2010-2011 in Queensland and Victoria, and the reviews that were consequently undertaken, this project was developed to analyse those reviews to determine if they offered any lessons for climate change adaptation. Focusing on four major and recent reviews but drawing on others as well, the project’s objectives are to:

  • Explain the relationships between floods and climate variability to climate change adaptation;
  • Synthesize the findings from flood inquiries in Victoria and Queensland by ordering key lessons into frameworks that aid climate change adaptation by end users;
  • Check the lessons from these Australian inquiries against lessons for more effective flood risk management identified overseas to explore positive synergies and differences;
  • Refine the draft research finding with advice from end users through interviews and a committee; and
  • Communicate the lessons for climate change adaptation and limits to adaptation with key end users involved in flood risk management.

In addition to analysing the Australian flood reviews, the project also compares review processes and findings with similar processes overseas, including the Netherlands, China and the USA, to determine points of similarity that reinforced Australian findings and to explore differences.  In addition to analysing the reviews themselves, the project team is conducting a series of semi-structured, in-depth interviews with relevant sectors including insurance, emergency services, floodplain managers, ecosystem researchers, local government and urban utilities.


January 2012 – December 2012 


This project is carried out with financial support from the Australian Government (Department of Climate Change and Energy Efficiency) and the National Climate Change Adaptation Research Facility.

Other non Fenner School members

  • Will Grant (ANU)
  • John Handmer (RMIT)

Updated:  22 August 2018/Responsible Officer:  Director Fenner School/Page Contact:  Webmaster Fenner School