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Dunedin City Council – Media Release
International review of rising groundwater protection options
This item was published on 02 Mar 2017
International experience in managing rising groundwater is being reviewed as part of a broad project on the future of South Dunedin.
The Dunedin City Council and the Otago Regional Council are preparing a programme of work that will develop possible options to mitigate or manage the effects of rising groundwater in South Dunedin. Any options developed will have to be investigated further and discussed with the community.
DCC Group Manager Water and Waste Laura McElhone says, “To help us with this overall project, we want to have a better understanding of how communities elsewhere in the world have managed the challenge of rising groundwater, particularly in areas that have similar social, economic and environmental settings to South Dunedin.”
The two councils have jointly contracted global environmental specialists Golder Associates to carry out an international review of places where protection options have been, or are being, put in place to manage rising groundwater. Golder Associates, which has a strong New Zealand presence, will be working with not-for-profit organisation Deltares, based in the Netherlands, which has international experience in this field. The two councils will pay an equal share of the $36,000 contract.
ORC Director Engineering, Hazards and Science Gavin Palmer says many cities around the world are facing the same issue of rising groundwater so much can be learned from experience elsewhere. “This review will incorporate what protection options have been used elsewhere, what has worked and lessons learnt. This information, along with our own science and monitoring, will help us and the community to identify viable options for South Dunedin.”
The contract was awarded last month and the work is expected to take about 10 weeks. The DCC and ORC are working together to develop and deliver a programme that responds to the climate challenges facing South Dunedin, while recognising the broader impacts across Dunedin and the wider region. The Otago Regional Council released a report in July 2016 outlining the hazards facing South Dunedin. The report pulls together information and analysis gathered over seven years, particularly regarding the increased likelihood of surface flooding associated with rising sea level. This was followed up by drop-in public information sessions held jointly with the DCC. The two councils are also collaborating with other groups and agencies in South Dunedin to develop more effective communication channels.
Dr McElhone says, “We are at the beginning of a long term project to plan for climate change. Once we have a lot of this technical information together, we will be able to discuss next steps with the community.”
Contact Group Manager Water and Waste on 03 477 4000.
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Posted by Elizabeth Kerr
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