Hunter Valley Flood Mitigation Scheme

The Hunter Valley Flood Mitigation Scheme is designed to lessen the effects of flooding on both rural and urban areas, reducing flood damage by modifying flood behaviour.

The Hunter Valley Flood Mitigation Scheme was built after the disastrous Hunter River flood of 1955. The scheme is an integrated system of levees, floodgates and drains (assets) on the Hunter, Paterson and Williams rivers. It is operated and maintained by the Department of Planning and Environment with support from Hunter Local Land Services.

The scheme does not provide complete flood protection. It is designed to mitigate or reduce flood damage. Scheme assets provide minor flood protection for rural land and moderate flood protection for Maitland, Lorn, Raymond Terrace, Singleton and Aberdeen.

There are more than 2000 individual scheme assets maintained along the rivers and floodplains. The scheme is valued at around $862 million.

How the flood mitigation scheme works

  • The scheme provides protection for people, property and infrastructure.
  • Levees and controlled floodways protect rural areas and major towns from minor to moderate flooding.
  • Maitland floodways divert major flows in a controlled manner around the city.
  • Levees provide a reduction in flood damages to towns in moderate to major floods and rural lands in minor floods.
  • Channels and floodgates allow the removal of floodwaters from farming land over time, reducing negative impacts on local landholders.

Aboriginal Storytelling of Flooding in the Hunter

Aboriginal people have occupied the Hunter Valley for tens of thousands of years. Culturally important heritage sites, places and landscapes on Country being an essential part of their identity. The Department has recorded memories of flooding from Elders and Indigenous families in the Hunter Valley to better understand the future climate change impacts flooding may have in the locality, and to record flood knowledge from Elders.

This video capture stories from the Aboriginal community about previous flood events and impacts to their community.