Berm transition works on the Waipara River
10 November, 2022
A nature-based solution to increase the resilience to flooding is the idea behind a major protection project happening on the Waipara River.
A Berm Transition Project is being undertaken by Environment Canterbury, stabilising the strips of land next to the active part of the riverbed. This will be done by planting native and exotic trees in areas of unstable gravels and flowing channels.
This project will protect the old Waipara landfill site from future flood events, the site between Waipara Village and Waipara River, and between the railway embankment and Weka Creek.
Non-invasive, short-lived poplar species will be planted across from the Weka Creek bank to slow any future flood waters, while the edge of the landfill site will be shored up with large rocks, and poplars will also be planted on the top of the landfill site.
Hurunui District Council’s Land and Water Coordinator Rima Herber is involved in the project, and said aerial photos show old flood channels from the Weka Creek cutting into the edge of the land-fill site area.
“This is part of forward planning for climate change resilience, in the face of the likelihood of more frequent and more extreme flood events. It will mean an increased resilience to riverbanks flooding, as well as creating sustainable habitat for native biodiversity,” she said.
Ongoing weed control and maintenance of the river berm will also make up part of the work plan.
“Once the poplars are planted, the next phase will include native plants established beneath the trees, which has proven very successful on the Waimakariri River berm, with natives thriving in the protection of the deciduous trees.”
This work will be completed before November 2023.