A major renewal works programme to boost flood protection of Thames and surrounding land is set to get underway shortly, Waikato Regional Council announced today.
The programme will improve stopbanks along the Kauaeranga River, a major river with peak flood flows almost as great as the nearby Waihou River. The existing Kauaeranga stopbanks have provided significant protection over the past 20 plus years and have led to a major reduction in flooding in the area.
Now new flood modelling technology – coupled with inspections showing limited settlement of existing stopbanks - has indicated the existing Kauaeranga stopbanks will need to be raised by up to 30-50 centimetres in places, said catchment services group manager Scott Fowlds.
“We’ve been very pleased with the way these stopbanks have been protecting Thames, nearby properties and farmland from the effects of flooding,” said Mr Fowlds.
“Without them Thames would have been far more at risk from the extreme weather that can affect the area and there would be a greater risk of state highway 25 being closed at times.
“We’ll use the new flood modeling technology and the information we’ve gained from stopbank surveys to ensure the scheme continues to provide the required standard of flood protection.”
During 2012-13 the focus will be on planning for and designing the works to be carried out. The actual work on the stopbanks is scheduled for the following two years. Based on initial estimates the entire programme will cost almost $1 million over three years. These works are part of the core service provided by the Waikato Regional Council under the Waihou Valley scheme.
The council has already provided the Thames Community Board with an initial briefing on the works and will be updating the board further at a meeting in June.
“We are committed to keeping the local community informed on progress with our stopbank renewal programme,” said Mr Fowlds.