Economic Assessment Framework of Flood Risk Management Projects

To effectively invest in flood risk mitigation, it is important to be able to quantify all the types of damages resulting from floods, and fairly compare a wide range of possible options to ensure targeted investment provides the greatest return.

The Economic Assessment Framework of Flood Risk Management Projects (2021) is a resource to support Queensland’s flood risk practitioners, state and local governments to:

  • undertake consistent and comparable economic assessments of flood risk mitigation
  • make informed decisions for investment in flood risk management and intervention
  • build a case for increased investment in risk mitigation and disaster resilient communities
  • use recommended methods to quantify a wide range of tangible and intangible damages
  • understand the methodologies to quantify the benefits of implementing flood risk mitigation activities, including non-structural options such as community awareness and education, building more flood resilient homes, and investing in emergency management, allowing for a fair comparison of potential options.

The Framework describes a five-stage process for undertaking economic assessment for flood risk management and provides the tools to undertake an economic assessment.

The methodologies outlined in the Framework are used to support economic assessment processes and are underpinned by guiding principles.

The Framework has been delivered an initiative of the Brisbane River Strategic Floodplain Management Plan implementation, and was developed through a collaborative process with other state governments, universities, private practitioners and key stakeholders. 

Prior to the release of this Framework, there had been limited guidance for undertaking economic assessment of flood risk management projects provided at the state or national level, particularly in relation to intangible damages and quantifying the benefits of non-structural options. This lack of guidance created an unnecessary layer of complexity when seeking to compare and prioritise flood risk management projects, both within states and across Australia. Lack of guidance and an incomplete capture of benefits can lead to an underestimation of the return on investment from flood risk management projects, and this can impede necessary investment in flood risk management.