The Blackstaff is known as a "Designated Watercourse" and is controlled and maintained by the Department of Agriculture and Rural Development's Rivers Agency. It has been cited as a main contributor to the high flood risk in central and low-lying areas of Belfast. In particular on 16 August 2008, a newly opened underpass carrying the M1 motorway onto the A12 Westlink controversially flooded to a depth of 20 feet (6.1 m) during heavy rain with water from the culverted Blackstaff and Clowney Rivers.
- "Locations at significant risk (Greater Belfast Sub Plan)". Greater Belfast pilot study. Rivers Agency. Retrieved 21 August 2012.
- "Widespread chaos caused by floods". bbc.co.uk/news. BBC News Online. 16 August 2008. Retrieved 21 August 2012.
- (PDF) Broadway Underpass – Westlink, Belfast:Independent Report into the Flooding Incident on 16 August 2008 (Report). Amey Consulting. October 2008. http://www.roadsni.gov.uk/broadwayunderpassfloodingreport.pdf. Retrieved 21 August 2012.
- Rivers Agency of Northern Ireland.