Flood studies for remote Indigenous communities in the Kimberley region of Western Australia

Flood studies for remote Indigenous communities in the Kimberley region of Western Australia Conference Paper

Hydrology and Water Resources Symposium (HWRS 2018): Water and Communities

  • Author(s): Coppolina, Mary-ann, Grace, Damon
  • Published: 2018
  • Publisher: Engineers Australia

Abstract: The Department of Water and Environmental Regulation has provided an assessment of flood risk, and an associated Floodplain Management Strategy, for four remote Indigenous communities in the Kimberley region to the Department of Planning, Lands and Heritage. Flood hydrology in the Kimberley is both unique and varied within the region, where rainfall is driven by tropical cyclone activity or convective thunderstorms during the wet season. The small Indigenous communities tend to be geographically remote, are often isolated by flood waters after large rainfall events and are typically located adjacent to ungauged waterways. As part of this study, two RORB models were built and calibrated to gauged streamflow records, namely Hann River at Phillips Range and Dromedary River at Dromedary. The parameters from these models were compared with those from two previous Kimberley RORB models to assess trends or similarities in the model parameters. The parameters were also compared to the regional values recommended by Australian Rainfall and Runoff guidelines (ARR 2016) for the Kimberley. The Continuing Loss value recommended by ARR 2016 was found to be substantially higher than the calibrated values, and hence is considered unlikely to be representative of the Kimberley region. There are several other gauged catchments in the Kimberley of varying catchment size which could be used to develop a more rigorous set of Kimberley-specific RORB parameters. Based on the comparison of calibrated RORB models, a parameter set was developed for use in the RORB applications for the three ungauged Indigenous community catchments. The investigation of flood risk for the Ngallagunda community, located near the Gibb River Road, is presented as a brief case study.

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Suggested Citation
Coppolina, Mary-ann, Grace, Damon, 2018, Flood studies for remote Indigenous communities in the Kimberley region of Western Australia, Conference Paper, viewed 16 July 2019, https://www.nintione.com.au/?p=14546.

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