River Murray Inundation Mapping

The amount of water that flows down the River Murray in South Australia can vary greatly in volume. This variation is important for the health of the river, and high flows and flooding events are crucial for maintaining the ecological health of River Murray floodplains.

It is important to understand the difference between high flows and flood events. The classifications for South Australian River Murray flows are:

Flow at BorderSA River MurrayShack Areas Only Downstream of Cadell (Excluding River Murray Towns)
200,001 ML/day or moreMajor Flood
130,001 to 200,000 ML/dayModerate Flood
100,001 to 130,000 ML/dayMinor Flood
60,001 to 100,000 ML/dayHigh FlowMinor Flood
40,001 to 60,000 ML/dayHigh Flow
40,000 ML/day or belowNormal Flow Range, no warnings

During high flows or flooding events, DEWNR will issue High Flow Advice or Flood Advice which contain information about safety precautions that should be adhered to during these events.

Flooding events are rare.

A South Australian River Murray flood is considered 'exceptional' if the water level is five or more metres above pool level. Historically this has occurred just four times, in 1931, 1956, 1973 and 1974. The 1956 flood, which peaked at 341,000ML/day, is the largest River Murray flood on record.

60,000 ML/day and 90,000 ML/day inundation maps

To help assess the possible extent of inundation for different flow scenarios, the Department of Environment, Water and Natural Resources has modelled and mapped River Murray flow events of 60,000ML/day and 90,000ML/day.

The inundation extents shown on the maps are predictive only and should be interpreted in accordance with the disclaimers stated before launching the maps and noted on the maps.

Maps of predicted inundation for a flow of 60,000 ML/day

Maps of predicted inundation for a flow of 90,000 ML/day

Launch Map Launch Map

For the latest information regarding River Murray flows, River Murray Flow Reports and public safety advice visit River Murray Flow Reports.

For current river levels and other information, see Real-Time Data.

If you are concerned about inundation and safety during high River Murray flows, contact the State Emergency Service, or refer to advice on or


  1. These maps delineate areas along the River Murray in South Australia which are assessed by the Department to be at risk of potential inundation by elevated flow at the South Australia-Victoria border at rates defined on the maps. The extent of the possible inundation indicated is caused by flows originating from upstream states causing the flow of the River Murray to increase. The maps do not identify inflows originating from other watercourses and drains in South Australia feeding the River Murray.
  2. These maps have been developed to assist emergency response planning.
  3. The information contained in these maps has been compiled from the best available information at the time based on ground surveys and hydraulic and hydrological modelling. Whilst every care has been taken in collecting this information, these maps should only be used as a guide for broad scale flood risk management and planning and should not be used to draw conclusions about flooding on individual properties.
  4. Inundation assessment for individual sites along the River Murray will require further surveys and hydraulic and hydrological modelling.
  5. Actual inundation patterns may vary from what is shown, depending on (but not limited to) wind, earthworks, blockages of structures such as culverts and bridges, embankments, and the state of the vegetative cover.
  6. These maps should not be interpreted as delineating flood free areas. Areas that are not identified as being at risk of inundation may be inundated by larger flows than those indicated on the maps.
  7. The inundation patterns relate to a prediction of land affected by inundation based on general topography and not necessarily the floor levels of buildings or houses located on that land.
  8. These maps have been prepared and are provided by the Department. Although all reasonable care has been taken in preparing these maps, they are provided in good faith and for general information only. No warranty, express or implied, is given as to the completeness, correctness, accuracy, reliability or currency of the information contained in the maps. The Minister for Water and River Murray or any employees of the Department accept no liability however arising for any loss or damage resulting from the use of the information contained in the maps or any reliance placed on them. Independent advice should be sought about the information contained in these maps before being relied upon.