A modern approach to managing stormwater as towns and cities develop is to replicate nature where low-lying areas and streams are kept clear of development so the natural flow of flood water remains unimpeded. Roads are often purposely designed lower than the surrounding land to ensure floodwater can drain away without flowing into private land, and in some cases large pipes are also required. This network of natural floodplains, streams, roads and pipes form the backbone of a well-designed and functioning stormwater system.
Furthermore, this approach preserves the natural water bodies, enhancing the ecological and cultural health of the waterways.
Resolving flooding and stormwater issues in Waitara is no easy task.
We currently have $20m of funding approved in our 10-Year Plan, which will go some way in starting to address the problem.
NPDC’s current development standards define the minimum requirements for residential and commercial development to be flood-proof. There are two aspects that we look at when talking about flood risk of an area or a property :
In the past, such standards didn’t exist and that is why we find many areas now that don’t comply with them. To resolve flooding in these areas is much more complex than planning future development and that is why we need a holistic approach to solve flooding: localised, short-term solutions don’t work.
Is kerb and channelling the solution?
Kerb and channel can help to improve level of service (prevent some of the nuisance flooding) but it isn’t an adequate solution for all locations. Kerb and channel must be installed as part of a network that takes the runoff to a suitable outlet. For example, at Seymour Street and the surrounding area, residential properties are located in low-lying ground that sits below the river level when the river flows are high (this coincides normally with the storm events that cause flooding in the roadway and properties). Therefore, there isn’t an outlet for the stormwater runoff that kerb and channel is intended to convey.
Understanding the dynamics of a catchment is the only way to approach its development in a sustainable way. Not only the hydrology, but the cultural and ecological aspects must be considered when planning for urban growth.
Managing floods from the Waitara River
Our projects will focus on flooding in the urban areas of Waitara by using the network of pipes and small streams.
Flood hazard management related to the Waitara River is carried out by the Taranaki Regional Council.
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Page last updated: 12:46AM Mon 19 September 2022