The catastrophic 1955 flood at Maitland, which caused 14 deaths in the Maitland area, was a major catalyst for the development of modern floodplain management practices in New South Wales. The Lower Hunter River Flood Mitigation Scheme involves several kilometres of levees, floodways, and flood control structures. However, Maitland is still vulnerable to large floods, and floodplain management for the city is a primary ongoing concern.

WMAwater have undertaken various investigation phases incorporating estimating historic flood behaviour, flood frequency analysis, modelling design flood behaviour (levels, flow distribution and velocities) and implementing a holistic management approach to flooding for the Lower Hunter River floodplain. The management plan was one of the first floodplain management plans to be fully incorporated into the Council’s planning framework by using it as DCP


Maitland Floodways Scheme, image copyright Hunter Central Rivers Catchment Management Authority.

List of WMAwater Studies at Maitland

  • Lower Hunter Valley (Oakhampton to Green Rocks) Supplementary Flood Study – 1996 (Maitland City Council)
  • Lower Hunter Valley (Oakhampton to Green Rocks) Floodplain Management Study – 1998 (Maitland City Council)
  • City of Maitland Floodplain Risk Management Plan, 2007 (Maitland City Council)
  • Hunter River Flood Study – Branxton to Green Rocks, 2010 (Maitland City Council)
  • Numerous site-specific flood impact assessments

Belmore Bridge, Maitland during the February 1955 floods.