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Powerhouse Parramatta 4 Meters Above Flood Waters

March 22, 2021

Image: Moreau Kusunoki and Genton

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The flood event which impacted the Parramatta River on the weekend would not have come within four metres of the future Powerhouse Parramatta ground floor.

Analysis by international engineering and flood specialists ARUP indicates the flood water would have only just entered the riverfront undercroft, an area underneath the new Museum not used by the public that is built into the design to allow the passage of flood water.

Powerhouse Parramatta’s design and engineering considerations ensure that even in a 1-in-1000 year flood event water would not reach the Museum’s ground floor.

President of the Powerhouse Trust, Peter Collins said.

“What the weekend demonstrates is that our new Museum, Western Sydney’s first Cultural Institution, is positioned well above even the rarest of flood events. The flooding we saw on the weekend wouldn’t have come within four metres of the Museum entrance.”

“Powerhouse Parramatta will be a very safe building for people to visit and for the Collection to be exhibited. We have the world’s best engineers ensuring every detail of the design puts the welfare of visitors and Collection first.”

Powerhouse Chief Executive, Lisa Havilah said.

“Our design and engineering teams have worked tirelessly to ensure every element of Powerhouse Parramatta puts safety first. The provision of a riverfront undercroft ensures the Museum’s ground floor is always protected from flood water.”

ARUP David Harding said.

“Heavy rainfall this weekend saw the water rise to approximately RL3.5. That’s four metres below the Ground Floor. Flood water would have only just entered the riverfront undercroft space, which has been designed specifically to protect the Museum from flood waters.

Our analysis shows it would take a river flood event worse than any ever recorded for river flood water to get into the Ground Floor of the new Museum.”

For more information on the weekend’s rain event visit the Infrastructure NSW webpage.


Georgia McKay, Powerhouse Museum
0466 223 293

Kiara Neasy, Infrastructure NSW
0405 260 209


Parramatta river flood levels

Graph attribution: The graph has been prepared by international engineering and flooding specialists Arup based on available flood data on Sunday 21 March 2021.