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Sharing flood expertise in the BOP

Bay of Plenty Regional Council Engineering Manager Mark Townsend explains the specially designed Flood Room which supports the Regional Council’s emergency flood response. Supplied photo.

The topic of large scale flooding events is on the front of people's minds following a national flood management and forecasting seminar in Whakatāne this week.

The Bay of Plenty Regional Council hosted the two-day workshop, which was an opportunity for people from regional councils around the country to come together and share their knowledge around the latest systems and tools used to forecast and manage heavy rain events.

With New Zealand experiencing a number of large floods over the past few years, and with last month’s heavy rain event in Canterbury still fresh in everyone’s minds, the 45 people who attended shared insights into how different councils respond to these large scale events.

Mark Townsend, one of the lead organisers of the workshop and the Engineering Manager at Bay of Plenty Regional Council, says the workshop has been incredibly valuable as it gave them the opportunity to share expertise and hear how different councils predict and plan for big flooding events.

“No two floods are the same, but by bringing such a large group of experts together we could learn from each other’s experiences and talk about what worked well, and what didn’t go to plan, in flooding events around the country.

“We need to keep up with our changing climate and having the right systems and processes in place to forecast and respond to floods will become increasingly important as we can expect to see more heavy rain events in the future."

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