What's being looked at?
The Land Drainage Recovery Programme, or LDRP, aims to reduce flood risk across the city to at least pre-earthquake levels.
The programme recognises the lower Heathcote and Heathcote Valley as priority areas for flood risk investigations and mitigation works.
We are fast tracking investigations and mitigation works, with a big commitment of funding and resource, but it will take many years to implement the flood mitigation works.
Flooding has always been an issue along the Heathcote River. Previous investigations into Heathcote River flooding have seen the development of floodplain management strategies, and these have led to:
• Planning rules, such as the District Plan, high hazard and flood ponding management areas
• The Woolston Cut
• Storage basins in the upper Heathcote to mitigate development
Although flooding has long been a problem, Christchurch's land drainage issues post-earthquakes are hugely challenging - so much has changed with land subsidence and damage to waterways and land drainage infrastructure.
The LDRP team is looking at the change in flood risk, considering things like land damage, tectonic shift and changing streambed slopes that have increased the flood risk to properties and homes.
Much work has gone into a condition assessment, to understand the damage to the city’s land drainage network. The city-wide assessment is nearly complete, and from this, further maintenance works, in addition to those already underway, are being prioritised.
Investigations underway for the Heathcote River include concept design for repairs to banks and structures to repair earthquake damage, while also providing greater resilience and improving habitat. We are also working to upgrade the Heathcote River flood model, adding in more detail to get a better understanding of flooding issues, and how best to mitigate them.
We are looking at the benefits identified in previous floodplain management strategies, particularly storage in the upper Heathcote, and looking at how to fast-track the most beneficial ones.
Essentially, we need to do thorough investigations to understand the risk, prioritise those most at risk, and develop sensible area-wide solutions that offer the most benefit, to the most people.