Rosalie during the 2011 flood. Photo: Glenn Hunt
A long-awaited study of the Brisbane River catchment, commissioned in the wake of the January 2011 flood, will be carried out by a consortium that includes two Dutch and two Brisbane firms.
The study is expected to deliver a model that will let planners more accurately predict flood heights and where flood water will flow in Brisbane and Ipswich.
Thirty-eight Queenslanders died and 20,000 Brisbane and 3000 Ipswich homes were flooded in the disaster. The water peaked at 4.46 metres in Brisbane and 19.4 metres in Ipswich.
In September 2011, a report by hydrologist Mark Babister presented to the Queensland Flood Commission of Inquiry pointed out variations between water heights at various flood gauges in the Brisbane River.
In particular, he found that in the January 2011 flood, the Q100 year flood level used by Brisbane City Council was one metre lower than it should have been at the Port Office gauge and three metres lower than it should have been at Moggill.
The need for a detailed hydrology study of the Brisbane River catchment was subsequently a major recommendation of the March 2012 Queensland Flood Commission of Inquiry.
Among the key findings was the need for a detailed study that would "analyse flood behaviour throughout the entire Brisbane River catchment".
"That analysis would lead to a determination of the likelihood and characteristics of flood in Brisbane and Ipswich," it said.
Natural Resources Minister Andrew Cripps on Wednesday announced the companies that would carry out the $1.16 million study*.
International consultants Aurecon Australia will oversee the consortium which also comprises Royal HaskoningDHV, Hydrobiology, Deltares and Don Carroll Project Management.
Royal HaskoningDHV has its head office in The Netherlands, as does Deltares, which is a river and groundwater consulting firm.
Hydrobiology is an Australian environmental consulting company, based at Milton, while Don Carroll Project Management is based at Mt Gravatt.
“The study will investigate the potential impacts of future floods on areas in the Brisbane River catchment, with a strong focus on Lockyer Creek, the Bremer River and major tributaries such as Oxley Creek,” Mr Cripps said.
“Brisbane City Council, Ipswich City Council, Somerset Regional Council and the Lockyer Valley Regional Council are working with my department on the study."
It will be completed in late 2015.
* Correction: The study will cost $1.16 million, not $1.6 million as orginally reported.