A NSW Government website

Hunter Valley Flood Mitigation Scheme

Funding and management

The department provides funding for and manages capital works and maintenance of the structures that make up the flood mitigation scheme.

Mowing on Maitland Levee

The scheme assets are owned by the Water Administration Ministerial Corporation and are managed under delegation by the Department of Climate Change, Energy, the Environment and Water. Scheme assets are located on private land.

Hunter Local Land Services contributes to the maintenance budget, as required by the Water Management Act 2000. This Act repealed the Hunter Valley Flood Mitigation Scheme Act 1956.

Hunter Local Land Services' share is funded by the Hunter Catchment Contributions. Local government ratepayers in the Hunter catchment pay an annual levy, known as Hunter catchment contributions. Local councils also provide a small contribution. Chapter 5 Public Works – Part 2 of the Water Management Act refers directly to Hunter Valley Flood Mitigation works. Works are approved under Part 5 of the Environment Planning and Assessment Act 1979.

The department is responsible for all maintenance activities of scheme assets. Maintenance activities include:

  • levee mowing
  • spraying of aquatic and terrestrial weeds
  • cleaning of drains
  • floodgate repairs.

In some cases, drainage channels extend beyond the department's jurisdiction and we have no authority to undertake any works in these areas.

We also contract other agencies and organisations to do work on their behalf. This can include project design and management, construction work, assessment of environmental factors and stakeholder engagement.

Watch the video

Constructed in the 1970s as a component of the Hunter Valley Flood Mitigation Scheme, Parsons Creek near Yango National Park was impacted during the 2022 floods. Repairs to the asset were completed in 2023.

Flood management assets and activities

Over 2000 individual assets are maintained along the rivers and floodplains.


An embankment providing a reduction in in flood damages to towns in moderate and major flood events and the rural areas in minor events.

Drainage Channel (or drains)

Control discharge of floodwaters from the river spilling into defined floodways.

Control and diversion banks

Reduce the potential damage by controlling the speed, direction and depth of floodwaters. These are located on the Bolwarra, Oakhampton, Swan Reach and Raymond Terrace floodways.


Prevents backflow from the river as water levels rise during flood events and releases water from drains and creeks after flood waters recede.


Part of the natural floodplain allowing diversion of floodwaters away from the main river channel during a flood and which is often a naturally defined channel. If these areas are blocked they can cause a significant change in flood flow, direction and levels, affecting other areas.

Bank stabilisation and protection works

Protection works stabilise and protect surrounding river banks from erosive flood waters, which in turn protects the levee assets.

River or stream banks without vegetation will continue to be unstable if the toe of the bank, where the levee meets the original surface foundation, continues to wash away.

Vegetation within the levee protected zone is limited to grass or low ground coverage. OEH does not permit planting of trees or shrubs within the protected zone.

River Bank Protection Works

Protect the river bank from erosion; this helps to maintain and stabilise the levee.

  • The scheme has 38km of bank protection works in the Lower Hunter and 270km of bank protection works in the Upper Hunter.
  • In the Lower Hunter the works include hard engineering using rock and timber.
  • In the Upper Hunter the works include soft engineering using woody debris and revegetation.
Paterson River.

Control Banks and Basins

Reduce potential damage by controlling the velocity, direction and depth of floodwaters.

  • The scheme has 5 basins and 5 control banks.
  • The control banks are made from rock and earth.
  • The scheme has numerous control banks designed to control the flow by acting as stilling basins located at Maitland, Lorn, Nelsons Plains, Millers Forest.
Oakhampton Road Control.

Drainage Channels

Remove floodwater by directing the water back to the river.

  • The scheme has over 164km of drainage channels.
  • The channels are earthen works and were originally constructed using a dragline excavator.
  • The channels are designed to remove floodwaters within 5 days once river heights return to normal conditions.
Woodville Drain.


Prevent the backflow of water to the landscape during a flood. As the river height goes down floodgates allow the water to return to the river.

  • The scheme has a network of over 260 floodgates (including inlet pits) and 500 flood pipes.
  • Pipe sizes range from 0.3m to 3.3m diameter.
  • Floodgate cell systems can range from a single cell to a 10 cell system up to 4.3m wide.
Woodville floodgate.


Low-lying landscapes adjacent to a river which inundate when the river is in flood.

  • The scheme has a total of 59km2 of declared floodplains.
  • The scheme has declared floodplains for the four local government areas in the Lower Hunter and are located in Maitland, Lorn, Singleton, Hexham, Tarro, Woodville Tomago and Fullerton Cove.
Oakhampton Floodway.


Contain rivers and/ or mitigate floodwaters in a flood.

  • The scheme was more than 185km of levees.
  • The levee system is designed to contain a minor/moderate flood and mitigate (lessen the impact or delay the effects of) moderate/major floods.
  • Levees can be earthen landscapes, concrete paths and/ or roadways.
Maitland Levee, NSW.


Divert excess floodwaters through defined flood ways.

  • The scheme has more than 3.8km of spillways, including a serpentine spillway.
  • Spillways are constructed of earth, concrete, rock and wire mesh.
Bolwarra Spillway.

Report damage

To report any damage to the Hunter valley Flood Mitigation Scheme please use the QR code, alterntively you can use the link below or contact us.

QR code for reporting damage.

Report damage via the form

Contact us

General enquiries

Phone: 1300 081 047 or send us a message.

For emergency flood assistance call the SES: 132 500

If your life is at risk, call 000.

Register your details to be kept up to date