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Published: 2008-08-14 00:00:00

Fresh heavy rain forecast for Taupo on Friday means Environment Waikato and Mighty River Power will be working together over the next few days to manage the potential for additional water flows in the Waikato River.

The Met Service says more than 100mm of rain could fall on the Taupo catchment on Friday and this could add significantly to the amount of water in Lake Taupo and the river. This will fall on already saturated catchments in the region and relatively high river levels.

Mighty River Power, following advice from EW, is increasing the amount of water flowing out of Lake Karapiro to create additional storage in the Upper Waikato River hydro system.

"This is a precautionary measure to help ensure that the lakes upstream of Karapiro don’t come under significant pressure if the forecast rain eventuates on Friday," said EW’s hazards manager Adam Munro.

The effect of the extra flows from Karapiro on low lying areas of Hamilton will be closely monitored. The volumes being released from Karapiro may be increased tomorrow, said Mr Munro.

"We’ll be alerting all appropriate authorities, such as Hamilton City Council and Civil Defence, so they can also monitor the situation. But we don’t expect the extra flows will create any problems.

"However, the releases from Kapapiro, and the rain that’s due to fall over Taupo on Friday, mean Waikato River levels are likely to stay higher for longer, and it will potentially take more time for land affected by the recent flooding to drain.

"We will be keeping landowners and other affected parties up to date as necessary as we continue to work our way through this latest situation."