Press Release – Horizons Regional Council
A taller and improved monitoring station is in place alongside the Manawatu River beside the old Teachers’ College where it will be used by Horizons Regional Council for flood monitoring and protection.
The new station stems from work being carried out under the Lower Manawatu Scheme to protect the city from a one-in-500-year flood.
When stopbanks were raised, the station needed to be lifted to ensure monitoring could continue in a major flood event. A walkway between the monitoring station and the stopbank is expected to be installed later in the week.
Horizons catchment information manager Jeff Watson says in addition to being 900mm higher, the new station has been brought up to current earthquake standards and handrails leading up to it will make it safer for those accessing vital monitoring equipment inside.
“The Teachers’ College monitoring station is one of our base monitoring sites, capturing information on river level, sediment load, dissolved oxygen, turbidity and water temperature,” Mr Watson says.
“It has the longest continuous flow record in New Zealand, with river flow data dating back to 1928 and records exist at this location for every major flood since 1928.
“Information about river flow at the site is used in flood forecasting which helps us to determine when to open the Moutoa Sluice Gates and for the operation of other aspects of the Lower Manawatu Scheme.
“We also have around three hundred people registered to receive automated flood warnings when the river reaches set levels through our river information system. These automated warnings enable landowners to shift stock, secure assets and mitigate the risk and impact of flooding,” he says.
As well as being used in flood forecasting, information from the monitoring site assists in setting minimum flows for those taking water and helps inform Horizons’ water quality scientists.
Horizons maintains 176 recording sites throughout the region which monitor rainfall, air quality, wind and soil moisture among other environmental indicators.
Environmental data collected through the council’s widespread telemetry system feeds into Horizons’ website where it is easily accessible to the public in close to real-time.
Find out more about Horizons’ river heights and rainfall monitoring online at www.horizons.govt.nz or give Horizons customer services team a call on toll free number 0508 800 800.