In recent years, natural disasters have started to become more frequent and severe all over the world. The impact of climate change has been obvious in many regions, but nowhere is it more apparent than in our coastal cities. With rising sea levels, storm surges and river flooding are becoming more commonplace even in areas that are not particularly prone to such events.
Cities like Brisbane are especially at risk of being flooded because much of it is built on a floodplain near rivers and the ocean. In fact, many people would be surprised to learn that the city has experienced six major floods since 1828 with the most recent occurring in January 2011 when many parts of the city were flooded for almost two weeks straight. In light of these events, how can we help reduce the risk of future flooding? Here’s everything you need to know about how Brisbane is preparing for future flooding and what you can do to stay safe if another flood event ever occurs again.
Brisbane’s history of flooding:
The first of the natural disasters was a cyclone that made landfall in northern Queensland on December 25, 2010. The cyclone brought heavy rain that continued for another month or so after the storm itself had moved on. The second flood-inducing weather event happened in January 2011 when a series of intense low-pressure systems moved in from the south. The resulting rainfall saw record-high levels of flooding across most of Brisbane, Ipswich, Logan, Redlands, and the Gold Coast triggering the worst natural disaster to hit the city in 40 years.
Brisbane stands out as being particularly vulnerable to flooding due to the city’s close proximity to the Pacific Ocean and the catchment areas of the city’s three major rivers (the Brisbane, Stanley, and Bremer Rivers). What’s more, Brisbane’s aging water transport and treatment systems are already at capacity during normal conditions, meaning that any significant increase in rainfall will quickly cause the city’s water supply to be overwhelmed and result in flooding. When this flooding occurs, it affects not only people’s homes and businesses, but also their health, the local economy, and productivity as a whole.
State of Brisbane’s current plumbing system:
Brisbane’s current water transport and treatment systems are at capacity during normal conditions. This means that if there is even a slight increase in rainfall in the city’s catchment areas, the system will quickly become overwhelmed and result in flooding.
Future Strategies for Fighting Flooding in Brisbane:
Rebuilding Infrastructure to Help Prevent Future Flooding:
One of the best ways to help reduce the risk of future flooding is to rebuild the city’s infrastructure in a way that will help reduce the risk of damage during floods. We can move large infrastructure like power plants and sewage plants away from flood-prone areas. Other types of buildings that need to be nearby, such as water treatment plants, emergency services facilities, and hospitals, can be built on higher ground.
Installing New Technologies to Detect Flooding:
There are several different kinds of water detection devices on the market, including water sensors, water alarms, water shut-off devices, and flood warning systems. Council is already monitoring the quality of waterways.
Further, water sensors can be placed in drains, sewers, and stormwater drains to monitor water levels. Water alarms can be used to detect flooding in water tanks and swimming pools. Flood warning systems can be used to monitor river and creek levels, as well as tidal water levels.
Even in your own home, new technology can be used to fix plumbing issues. For instance, if you’re experiencing plumbing issues like blocked drains, the best way to get to the root of the problem is with a drain camera inspection that can help with blockages, suspected leaks, cracks, and other damage. At Watermark Plumbing, we make use of the right tools and tech to help fix residential plumbing issues for Brisbane residents.
Dryland Reserves to Manage Flowing Water:
A third method to help manage floodwater is to create dryland reserves where floodwater can be retained and managed. These flood water retention areas can be built in areas that are at risk of flooding and can help to reduce the risk of damage to nearby homes.
Updated Plumbing system:
Fortunately, there are a number of municipal plumbing solutions available that can help protect Brisbane from future flooding. The first of these is an update to the city’s water transport system. This water transport system includes the city’s network of stormwater drains, rivers and creeks, and channels. It is important that this system be capable of handling increased rainfall and runoff in the future, and a new and improved water transport system will be the best way to do this.
Along with the development of a new water transport system, the city will also need to update its water treatment systems. This will allow it to handle greater water flow, while also giving it the ability to further treat water to ensure it is safe for use.
We can’t stop climate change from happening, but we can help reduce the risk of flooding by installing new water detection technologies, rebuilding infrastructure to make it more flood-resistant, and updating our plumbing systems.