Flooding and stormwater

Flooding occurs when water flows over land that is normally dry. Stormwater is runoff from rainfall.

Appropriate consideration of flooding and stormwater risks can help to deliver healthy waterways and a safe, sustainable and liveable region for existing and future communities.

The Sunshine Coast has 5 major waterways and 58 creeks. It also has over 150km of open drains and 1500km of underground stormwater pipes which drain to our waterways or beaches. Flooding occurs when water flows over land that is normally dry. This can occur after heavy or prolonged rainfall or during coastal storm surge events.

The stormwater network is designed to convey runoff from moderately intense rainfall events. During very intense rainfall events or if the path of stormwater is blocked, runoff can cause short term stormwater flooding of roads and properties.

With an average rainfall of around 1700mm per year, planning for flooding and managing stormwater appropriately is part of life on the Sunshine Coast. Flooding can be a risk to property and life. Its effects on the built environment and the community can range from nuisance to catastrophic. It is therefore important that there is sufficient awareness of flooding and stormwater risks, so that they can be avoided, managed and mitigated. Protecting flood storage against the cumulative impacts of filling in the floodplain and protecting overland flow paths are essential to the management of flood risk.  

As stormwater runoff is conveyed through urban areas it can become polluted with litter, sediment, nutrients, oils, chemicals and heavy metals. To protect the public and the environment, potential sources of stormwater pollution should be minimised, and runoff should be intercepted and treated where possible to prevent pollutants entering our waterways.

Related projects



Updated flood mapping

New online mapping - building our region's resilience.


Wetlands to be restored and protected

Council has secured 120 hectares of land in the Blue Heart for restoration and conservation of wetlands for habitat, a healthier Maroochy River and a place to connect to nature.


The Environment and Liveability Strategy Refresh Project 2023

New inclusions for the Sunshine Coast’s blueprint setting the future for our environment and liveability.

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