$40m flood protection project nearing an end

15 Aug 2019


A 10-year $40 million project to prevent major flooding from the Waimakariri River will be completed this month, under budget and ahead of schedule.

The Waimakariri Flood Protection Project has been done by Environment Canterbury (ECan) and has involved the upgrade of 35km of primary stopbank along the Waimakariri River, construction of a 25km secondary stopbank, and 8km of rock armour bank protection work.

Rocks are used to create a stopbank.

A total of 700,000 cubic metres of Waimakariri River gravel was used for stopbank construction, and 260,000 tonnes of rock was used for rock bank erosion protection work.

Ecan chief executive Bill Bayfield said this project would safeguard the community against extreme weather events in the future.

“The project will protect parts of Canterbury from flooding, which has the potential to cause more than $8 billion worth of damage,” Mr Bayfield said.

“We have seen major floods in the past that have breached the stopbanks of the Waimakariri River and as climate change continues to take hold, we need to ensure the community will be protected.”

The project also aided local biodiversity projects and assisted with the development of recreational assets.

The completed works ensures the primary stopbank will be able to handle a flood of 5500 cumecs and the secondary system will offer protection against a 6500 cumec event. 

The largest flood from the Waimakariri River was just under 4000 cumecs in 1957.

Find out more about the Waimakariri Flood Protection Project.(external link)

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