A flood study commissioned by the University of Tasmania shows under 2050 modelling part of the campus will be affected if the levee walls fail in a flood event.
The study, completed by Pitt and Sherry on behalf of UTAS, forms part of the development application submitted to the council for the second and third stages of its Inveresk campus.
The DA has been advertised for public comment and is available from the City of Launceston council website.
The report modelled both 2050 and 2090 predicted scenarios but found the 2050 predictions to be the most likely outcome. The 2050 scenario modelling allows for sea-level rise of 0.22m by 2050 and an increase in rainfall intensity of 7.2 per cent.
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“Based on these changes for the 1 per cent event the Launceston levee and Inveresk levee are expected to overtop,” the report reads.
Under this scenario, the Inveresk site, dubbed the River’s Edge building, located behind the existing Architecture building, is impacted by floodwater at its western-most point.
The community often cites flood risk as a criticism of campus development. However, UTAS vice-chancellor Rufus Black said the buildings would include design elements to withstand flood events, and mitigation measures will be in place when the campus is complete.
Recommendations made in the report noted the site for both buildings is considered flood-prone, which carried an inherent risk to developers. “Any structure at either the Willis St or the Invermay site is likely to have a design life above 30 years. Therefore it would be prudent to consider flood scenarios at periods within that life,” the report said.
what”As no defined criteria are in place for development in flood-prone areas, developers should consider the risk associated with their development and plan appropriately.”
The 2050 flood predictions showed the outcomes of a flood that is 1 per cent over the capacity of the flood levee, a more serious prediction was also envisaged – at 2 per cent. At a 2 per cent increase, both the Willis Street and Inveresk sites would be severely impacted by floodwater for an extended period following the flood levee failure.
However, the report noted that this was not as likely as the 1 per cent prediction.
The report said if a levee failure occurred the onset of water would be rapid, and the flood behaviour would be unsafe for everyone. It recommended UTAS develop a flood emergency plan consistent with the City of Launceston’s emergency evacuation plan.