Water Views? or Flood Risk?

Lots of people want water views ………….but if the water view is a River, or even a Small Creek, there can be a flooding risk.

The quiet creek in this photo is about 300mm deep and 3m wide. After a couple of days of rain it can be 3m deep and 30m wide.

The 2012 Victorian floods even affected properties that are km’s from rivers.

Generally the planning laws say the floor must be above the 1 in 100 year level……………I don’t think that’s enough.

  • The 1 in 100 year flood level is an estimate only. How often have we seen in the paper two 1 in 100 year storms in a matter of weeks.
  • Sometimes the data used to calculate the flood levels is based on as little as 10 years worth of records. In Australia flood levels have only been monitored on many major rivers for less than 100 years.
  • River and stream catchments change over time. This is normally by additional buildings which increase the rainfall runoff into the stream so flood levels tend to rise.
  • Global warming increases the power of weather systems meaning that storms are likely to be more severe which means higher flood levels.

Although I have had houses close to rivers and streams its always been more than 3m above flood levels. I would say that 1m above the current estimated flood level would be an absolute minimum for me.

If you are tempted to buy land close to a river have a look at what, if any, flood insurance you can get. That may give you pause for thought!

Do you think a river view is worth the risk?

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