A Victorian road submerged in a flood.

A new collaboration between Melbourne Water, the Bureau of Meteorology and the Victoria State Emergency Service (VICSES) will be looking to implement an improved flood warning system for Greater Melbourne catchments in the wake of the October 2022 Maribyrnong River event.

The agencies will evaluate options and work together to streamline flood forecasts and warnings – one of a range of measures initiated by Melbourne Water after hearing the stories, concerns and feedback that have emerged during the Independent Review into the flood.

The implementation group will focus on bringing Greater Melbourne riverine catchments into line with the rest of Australia by transferring responsibility for riverine flood forecasts and warnings to the Bureau.

Melbourne Water would continue to provide flash flood intelligence for the urban settings to VICSES to enable streamlining of flash flood warnings into the future.

VICSES Chief Officer of Operations, Tim Wiebusch, said, “This implementation group will ensure a consistent approach to riverine flood predictions and warnings for communities across the whole of Victoria. We look forward to working collaboratively with Melbourne Water and the Bureau of Meteorology on streamlining these services.”

Melbourne Water has heard directly from hundreds of residents and stakeholders in flood impacted areas, through submissions to the review and contributions to a special ‘Share your experience’ report documenting experiences of the flood.

Hundreds of members of the community also attended six drop-in information sessions between January and March.

Melbourne Water Managing Director, Nerina Di Lorenzo, said “We know that every minute counts in a flood emergency. Simplifying the process of generating flood warnings between our agencies will further improve timeframes and better support our community when extreme weather events occur.”

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