2024 ‘Disaster Preparedness’ Category Winner

City of Gosnells, WA

Tackling Flood Prevention and Response through Smart Engineering Solutions at the City of Gosnells

2024 ‘Disaster Preparedness’ Category Winner

The Initiative

The City of Gosnells is at the forefront of proactive flood risk reduction within our local community, leveraging innovative drainage solutions and cutting–edge technology.

From flood sensor alerts to a state–of–the–art drainage CCTV robot, in–house pipe relining, and deep ground–penetrating radar, the City has implemented a diverse array of measures to mitigate blockages, repair pipes, and address sinkholes with minimal disruption. These initiatives ensure the efficient functioning of over 900 km of drainage infrastructure, safeguarding roads, residences, and businesses and protecting the lives and livelihoods of the 130,000–strong population.

Since the 1920s, impermeable soils and a high groundwater table have contributed to persistent drainage challenges, resulting in recurrent flooding during storms and a history of sinkhole incidents in the region.

Recognising the disproportionate impact of extreme weather events on the most vulnerable segments of the community, particularly in light of worsening climate conditions, the City has proactively developed a best–practice approach to drainage maintenance and emergency response.

Upon discovering that 22% of the drainage network data was in poor condition, the City prioritised proactive inspections and updated asset data. This initiative led to the introduction of a custom, off–grid, mobile surveying and CCTV unit operated by skilled personnel. Equipped with laser scanning capabilities to detect deformed pipes and a CCTV crawler for comprehensive footage and condition reporting, the unit significantly enhances inspection efficiency. Its submerged operation capability and 400 metre range, along with its 360 degree camera, reduces the need for personnel to enter confined spaces, thereby enhancing safety. This innovation is projected to save the City $125,000 annually in external contractor expenses.

In a bid to bolster flood emergency response capabilities, the City deployed digital rain gauges and flood sensors across vulnerable sections of the network. These devices trigger programmed alerts sent via text messages to dedicated response teams, facilitating timely intervention during storm events and pre–emptively addressing flood risks before they escalate.

By embracing cutting–edge technology and strategic planning, the City of Gosnells is setting a commendable standard in flood prevention and response, ensuring the resilience of its community in the face of environmental challenges.

About the Category

The ‘Disaster Readiness and Recovery’ category recognises local government initiatives which:

  • support communities to manage and adapt to climatic events by investing in disaster prevention, recovery and preparedness;
  • actively reduce risks from disasters and pandemics, particularly as they impact local communities;
  • ensure the Australian community is prepared to endure more frequent challenging events; and/or
  • implement programs and policies that ensure communities survive and prosper following these events.

Successful initiatives in this award category benefit communities by:

  • lowering the potential impacts of disasters and pandemics by analysing and managing the causes;
  • identifying risks and mapping capacity to respond to hazards;
  • protecting lives and livelihoods, communities and individuals; and/or
  • reducing damage or loss from disaster, particularly when it comes to public and private infrastructure.

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