For the first time, Canberrans can easily view the sections of the ACT that would flood if the Molonglo River burst its banks during one-in-100-year flooding.
The ACT government has begun publishing long-awaited maps that show widespread riverine flooding, mostly in unpopulated areas along the Molonglo. The initial publication on the government map website only provides information for the Molonglo River, including Lake Burley Griffin.
The map shows that some residential areas and main thoroughfares would be affected if there was major flooding along the Molonglo. Oaks Estate remains the territory's most vulnerable suburb to flooding.
The Monaro Highway and Lady Denman Drive would be at risk of flooding. The maps appear to show parts of the National Zoo and Aquarium being flooded. Flood waters could lap at the edge of Fyshwick and affect Pialligo.
Minor flooding could be expected on the edges of Lake Burley Griffin in areas such as the Kingston harbour.
Widespread floods could occur in unpopulated parts of Weston Creek and the Majura Valley development area.
Possible flooding around Scrivener Dam and into the National Zoo and Aquarium.
The maps highlight how strict planning controls have created buffer zones from riverine flooding for the vast majority of residences.
The ACT government is yet to publish flood maps for other creek systems in the territory.
The government said on Tuesday that while most homes might not be subject to riverine flooding, people should not assume they would never be exposed to flood waters. Environment and Sustainable Development Minister Simon Corbell said all parts of Canberra were at risk of dangerous flash flooding.
''As a well-planned city, almost all homes in the ACT are built above the one-in-100-year flood level. The level of risk to Canberra residents from a riverine flooding event, such as the Molonglo or another stream or tributary breaking its banks, is very low,'' he said. ''This new data will inform Canberrans on appropriate actions they can take such as obtaining home and contents insurance policies for their property.''
The term ''one-in-100-year flood'' refers to a 1 per cent probability of major flooding occurring during any one year.
Officially, the government refers to the Annual Exceedance Probability (AEP) flood level.
Ongoing flood studies are being undertaken on other ACT waterways, including Sullivan's Creek, Yarralumla Creek, Long Gully Creek, Weston Creek, Woolshed Creek, Tuggeranong Creek, Isabella Weir and Ginninderra Creek systems.
Data from the studies is expected to be published online in late 2014.
The ACT budget included $300,000 for an assessment of the work needed to increase the capacity of the Isabella Weir to reduce the risk of flooding during extreme storms.
Another study was being conducted into the probable maximum flood level from the unlikely cascading impact of the Yerrabi, Gungahlin and Ginninderra dams all failing.
The opposition last month criticised the government for delays in the publication of flood maps. But the government said it was reluctant to publish the maps without appropriate explanatory material.
The flood map can be viewed at actmapi.act.gov.au.
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