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Conference tackles big challenges over flooding and stormwater


The growing challenges of managing urban stormwater will be a key focus at a major conference in Auckland this week.

The Water New Zealand Stormwater Conference will bring together around 300 experts from local and regional authorities, as well as scientists, planners and engineers to look at the growing pressure on our water management systems caused by more and more intensified flooding.

The Chair of Water New Zealand’s Stormwater Special Interest Group, Michael Hannah says climate change and urban population growth are having a huge impact on stormwater systems.

He says Auckland is a prime example of what can happen when massive population growth places too much pressure on infrastructure.

“The Auckland region received up to 740 mm of rain across a 37 day period in March and April this year and as we know, that placed an enormous pressure on existing stormwater systems.

“We know that climate change will mean more extreme weather and more intense storms and we need to be addressing these challenges now.

He says the big question is how to fund the new infrastructure and urban design needed to ensure communities remain resilient.

“One thing is certain, there are no quick fix, or cheap, solutions. It’s going to require a lot of time, collaboration and innovative solutions.

“That’s why the theme of this year’s conference Innovative, Resilient and Future-ready, is particularly pertinent.

The conference runs from today till Friday (3-5 May) at the Pullman Hotel, Auckland. For more information and to see the speakers, case studies and papers go to http://stormwaterconference.org.nz/programme-2/

Media enquiries: Debra Harrington tel 027 202 8857