When I published the first edition of Floodplain Manager in February 2005 it was a bit of an experiment borne out of frustration. I had been invited to attend a few national forums on flooding and was surprised to see that many practitioners around the country were not aware of new ideas in floodplain management being applied in other states, let alone those from elsewhere in the world. While these national forums were good at sharing this knowledge, they were few and far between and by invitation only. What particularly bothered me was that scarce disaster grant funding was being used to fund research or pilot studies in one state for work which was exactly the same as what had been completed in another state a few years prior.
So I printed an eight page newsletter which shared information on the latest research, data, resources and events with about 80 practitioners around Australia who were willing to pay the $99 annual subscription fee. Over the years the size of the publication grew, as did the number of subscribers, until 2012 when it became an electronic newsletter emailed free of charge. Now we have more than 800 subscribers from around the world and, with the launch of the new Molino Stewart website this year, we decided another evolution was due.
From here on in Floodplain Manager will be published on the Molino Stewart website and when you receive your newsletter each month clicking the “read more” link will take you to the full article on the website. Our site also has floodplain management and other resources produced by Molino Stewart which you can find on this page.
I would also like to acknowledge the evolving role of Floodplain Management Australia in supporting floodplain management professionals. Since the first edition of Floodplain Manager it has gone from a NSW-centric, mostly local government based organisation to a national body with diverse membership, a national agenda and links with like organisations around the globe. Its activities too are keeping Australian floodplain managers up to date with the latest advances in floodplain management from around the globe and creating important links between professionals around the country.
I trust this bumper December/January edition provides you with further insights into the latest in floodplain management. It reports on several technological advances in flood modelling, forecasting and mapping, most of which we would not have dreamed of back in 2005. But while all these advances have been made since we first published Floodplain Manager, the unfortunate tragedy is that there continues to be too many avoidable losses and fatalities as this edition underlines.