Managed retreat

At Water Technology, we offer solutions that assist councils, communities, businesses and individuals explore and understand appropriate adaptation options. These solutions encompass enhancing resilience, and when necessary, implementing managed retreat strategies.

Water Technology specialises in providing innovative solutions for managed retreat initiatives, which tackle the challenges posed by flooding and rising sea levels. Our expertise lies in developing comprehensive strategies encompassing advocacy, communications, and engagement programs aimed at relocating communities from high-risk areas to safer locations. With our extensive experience and specialised knowledge in community relocation management, planning, floodplain and coastal management, hydrology and engineering, we offer sustainable and resilient solutions that prioritise the safety and well-being of affected populations.

A community centric approach

Australia’s environment can be demanding and extreme, from droughts to flooding rain.

Our team of experts design community relocation programs that focus on facilitating the relocation of communities residing in high risk areas susceptible to natural disasters such as floods, storm surge, bushfires, or landslides. These programs aim to engage affected residents meaningfully and provide them with safer and more resilient housing options in less vulnerable locations. Through partnerships with stakeholders and leveraging community engagement, our programs promote sustainable development, enhance community resilience, and mitigate the risks associated with residing in hazard-prone areas.


We provide comprehensive solutions for managed retreat, including advocacy, engagement and strategic planning to help communities build resilience in the face of natural hazards.

Managed retreat solutions

Our team of experts work on:
  • Relocation strategy development and implementation
  • Risk assessments and mapping
  • Community engagement and education
  • Community communication and outreach

  • Infrastructure planning and design
  • Monitoring and evaluation
  • Environmental restoration

Our expert approach to
managed retreat

Collect scientific and
social data

Our team starts by gathering knowledge of the landscape factors influencing the particular natural hazard for the location. We collect detailed scientific data to inform our risk assessments and recommendations.

We also consult with community stakeholders to understand the history, local concerns and priorities, while building local awareness and expectations.

Develop strategies
and plans

Our experience with managed retreat and familiarity with natural disasters helps to develop strategies and plans for the steps required to successfully relocate people who have a desire to do so.  

We consider the physical, financial, social and environmental aspects.


Implementation support 
and evaluation

We provide support to implement the strategy, working with the community and the broad range of stakeholders, to communicate and co-ordinate where needed.

We track the effectiveness and impact of managed retreat strategies, facilitating adaptive management.

At work across Australia

With offices throughout the country, our team brings a
national perspective to local challenges.

Talk to an expert