26 September 2023

Melbourne to float new flood warning system

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The Victoria State Emergency Service (VICSES), Melbourne Water and the Bureau of Meteorology (BoM) are to combine forces to deliver an improved flood warning system for Greater Melbourne water catchments.

According to the Chief Officer Operations at VICSES, Tim Wiebusch the group would ensure a consistent approach to riverine flood predictions and warnings for communities across the whole of Victoria.

“We look forward to working collaboratively with Melbourne Water and the Bureau of Meteorology on streamlining these services,” Mr Wiebusch said,

His forward looking was supported by the Managing Director of Melbourne Water, Nerina Di Lorenzo who said the implementation group was formed in response to the October 2022 Maribyrnong River flooding event.

“We know that every minute counts in a flood emergency,” Dr Di Lorenzo said.

“Simplifying the process of generating flood warnings between our Agencies will further improve timeframes and better support our community when extreme weather events occur,” she said.

“The Agencies will evaluate options and work together to streamline flood forecasts and warnings – one of a range of measures initiated by Melbourne Water after hearing the stories, concerns and feedback that have emerged during the Independent Review into the flood.”

Dr Di Lorenzo said the implementation group would focus on bringing Greater Melbourne riverine catchments into line with the rest of Australia by transferring responsibility for riverine flood forecasts and warnings to the Bureau.

She said Melbourne Water would continue to provide flash flood intelligence for the urban settings to VICSES to enable streamlining of flash flood warnings into the future.

Group Executive Community Services at BoM, Piero Chessa said the Bureau was committed to collaborating with Melbourne Water and VICSES on flood warnings, to improve the delivery of flood forecast and warning services to the Greater Melbourne area, including the Maribyrnong River.

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