This brochure describes the flood
warning system operated by the Australian Government, Bureau of
Meteorology for the Kolan River. It includes reference information
which will be useful for understanding Flood Warnings and River Height
Bulletins issued by the Bureau's Flood Warning Centre during periods of
high rainfall and flooding.
The Kolan River catchment is located in south east Queensland and covers an area of approximately 3,000 square kilometres. The river rises in the rugged Dawes Range, 100 kilometres northwest of Bundaberg. It meanders for a distance of 70 kilometres, generally in a southeasterly direction, before entering Lake Monduran and passing through the Fred Haigh Dam.
Below the Dam and the Bucca Range, the Kolan River enters a wide coastal plain, generally under large areas of sugar cane cultivation. Gin Gin Creek, its major tributary, rises in the Burnett Range 35 kilometres west of Gin Gin and flows in a easterly direction joining the Kolan River 10 kilometres above Bucca Weir. Floods normally develop in the headwaters of the Kolan River and Gin Gin Creek and its major tributaries, however, Fred Haigh Dam has a significant effect on reducing major flooding in the lower reaches. Flooding from local area heavy rainfall may still occur in areas downstream of Bucca Weir.
Since the Fred Haigh Dam was completed in 1974, only minor to moderate flooding had been recorded before December 2010. In January 2013 the dam spilled by 6.85 metres causing widespread major flooding downstream.
Previous flood information for the Kolan River is well documented. Monduran has peak heights dating back to 1887, with Molangool dating back to 1967.
The Bureau of Meteorology operates a flood warning system for the Kolan River catchment based on a rainfall and river height observations network shown on the map. The network consists of a number of volunteer rainfall and river height observers who forward observations by telephone when the initial flood height has been exceeded at their station, as well as a automatic telephone telemetry stations at Springfield, Fred Haigh Dam and Gin Gin Creek, which are operated by the Department of Natural Resources and Mines.
The Bureau's Flood Warning Centre issues Flood Warnings and River Height Bulletins for the Kolan River during flood events. Qualitative flood forecasts are issued when moderate flood levels are likely to be exceeded at Molangool and Monduran.
The Bundaberg Regional Council is able to provide further information on flooding in your area of the Kolan River catchment.
Flood Warnings and Bulletins
The Bureau of Meteorology issues Flood Warnings and River Height Bulletins for the Kolan River catchment regularly during floods. They are sent to radio stations for broadcast, and to local Councils, emergency services and a large number of other agencies involved in managing flood response activities. Flood Warnings and River Height Bulletins are available via :
Internet/World Wide Web
Interpreting Flood Warnings and River Height Bulletins
Flood Warnings and River Height Bulletins contain observed river heights for a selection of the river height monitoring locations. The time at which the river reading has been taken is given together with its tendency (e.g. rising, falling, steady or at its peak). The Flood Warnings may also contain predictions in the form of minor, moderate or major flooding for a period in the future. River Height Bulletins also give the height above or below the road bridge or causeway for each river station located near a road crossing.
One of the simplest ways of understanding what the actual or predicted river height means is to compare the height given in the Warning or Bulletin with the height of previous floods at that location.
The table below summarises the flood history of the Kolan River catchment - it contains the flood gauge heights of the more significant recent floods.
[*] Indicates height in metres over the Spillway
Historical flood heights for all river stations in the Kolan River catchment Floodwarning network, as shown on the map, are available from the Bureau of Meteorology upon request.
At each flood warning river height station, the severity of flooding is described as minor, moderate or major according to the effects caused in the local area or in nearby downstream areas. Terms used in Flood Warnings are based on the following definitions.
Each river height station has a pre-determined flood classification which details heights on gauges at which minor, moderate and major flooding commences. Other flood heights may also be defined which indicate at what height the local road crossing or town becomes affected by floodwaters.
The table below shows the flood classifications for selected river height stations in the Kolan River catchment.
(B) = Bridge (C) = Causeway (W) = Weir (S) = Spillway
The above details arecorrect at the time of preparing this document. Up-to-date flood classifications and other details for all flood warning stations in the network are at:
Flood gauge information
For the latest rainfall and river height conditions please use the following link:
For the latest rainfall and river height network map please use the following link:Network maps
For further information, contact:
The Regional Hydrology Manager, Bureau of Meteorology, GPO Box 413, Brisbane Q 4001