UNSW Water Research Laboratory


Hunter Valley, Victoria


Cost benefit assessment and recommendations help maintain flood mitigation in the Hunter Region.

SGS worked with the UNSW Water Research Laboratory to evaluate the economic, social and environmental benefits and costs of the current Hunter Valley Flood Mitigation Scheme. The project included providing options and recommendations for the ongoing management of the Scheme to maintain the flood mitigation function as fit for purpose, considering the potential impacts of climate change.

We prepared a method for quantifying ecosystem values, developed a geographic GIS driven asset and risk exposure database, calculated future cost of risk, developed several adaptation pathways with the Water Research Laboratory, delivered a cost-benefit analysis of the pathways and undertook community and stakeholder consultation.

The cost-benefit analysis involved the assessment of costs and benefits across a region involving six local government areas, a population of approximately 500,000 residents and a scheme asset base worth hundreds of million dollars.

An important component of this project was targeted engagement with various stakeholders to understand the values the community places on the scheme and their local area and the sense of urgency regarding key aspects of the scheme. Engagement by Myriad Research included workshops with state and local government agencies, community interest groups, and a landholder survey of perceptions of values and risks. The engagement activities helped us understand community values and perceptions of the scheme infrastructure and allowed our advice to be much more nuanced and reflective of local insights.

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