The main beneficiaries from flood protection are landowners and utilities directly protected by the scheme. Landowners receive direct benefits in the form of production increases and reduced flood damages. Utilities and primarily transport network operators receive direct benefits in terms saving damage to roads and savings on costs of traffic diversions and delays.
Indirect benefits are received by third parties (those not directly protected by the scheme) and can often accrue collectively and widely throughout the Region. Indirect benefits are all those benefits that extend to the land outside the immediate flood plain. This land, to a certain extent, relies on the infrastructural, economic and community factors in the protected flood plains.
Other indirect benefits are environmental, ecosystem and recreational. Indirect benefits from the flood protection scheme can be received by people in the management zone, catchment and wider Region. However, the level of indirect benefit received is greater for people in the management zone compared to the catchment area and the wider Region.
The development of river catchments through land clearance, land drainage improvements, river and drainage system development, land (and river use) and urban development increases river flows. The increased flows increase the cost of ongoing maintenance of flood protection schemes. Those who contribute to the increased river flows are contributors.