• Gracey Griffin

Flooded Farms Becoming More Frequent

Updated: Sep 10, 2019

As we head into winter, many agricultural properties across the country are planning for the seasonal changes and trying to prepare for whatever the weather has to throw at them.

Recent reports are warning farmers and agricultural workers of flooding as a result of climate change. Extreme weather events are expected to become more frequent and intense in the coming seasons. An increase in temperatures across the country will lead to greater snowmelt and higher average rainfall in winter and spring. This puts pressure on dams and catchments with both tidal and river flooding expected throughout the South Island.

stuff.co.nz reports "Councils will have to design climate-sensitive infrastructure and assets, and it is likely some existing assets may fail due to climate change affects" off the back of the recent The Southland Climate Change Impact Assessment. This assessment was authored by NIWA, Environment Southland, Invercargill City Council, Southland District Council and Gore District Council. The study found that at the end of the century, Southland temperatures are expected to be three degrees higher, putting pressure on all climate-sensitive production.

The increased rainfall will also put pressure on many rural rivers and streams which have potential to flow over onto farmland. The West Coast flooding recently left many farmers with brand new rivers running right through their paddocks. With the torrential rain smashing through stopbanks, the deluge ploughed through a number of farms at Waiho Flats turning grass paddocks into raging torrents. "It's cut access to farmland, washed away winter feed and destroyed crops" a local farmer told Newshub.

Paddock on Waiho Flats, West Coast NZ

Extreme temperatures and weather patterns can also put pressure on clean water, especially for rural properties. With increased temperatures, not only will drinking water be in shortage, but more water will be needed for irrigation. Dryer summers and wetter winters amplify the importance of the management of waterways and water storage systems.

These systems have, in the past, been very expensive and cost prohibitive, as well as being complicated to install and set up. Recent developments have made this technology more accessible to both regional/city councils and to farm owners. The installation of more cost-effective sensors will save time and money in water system efficiency and early warning of extreme weather events.

Waterwatch Online Dashboard

Waterwatch are proud to be providing a cost-effective solution to New Zealand's primary industries. Waterwatch sensors are designed to accurately measure water levels in a variety of situations including dams, ponds, rivers, streams, tanks and groundwater bores. With constant improvements and upgrades to both software and hardware elements of Waterwatch sensors, they are highly regarded as the gold standard of water level monitoring. Making our water work more efficiently and protecting vulnerable communities is vitally important with a constantly changing climate.

Waterwatch sensors are produced with a long term focus. Everything from the long life battery to the packaging is designed with environmental sustainability in mind, actively trying to minimise our environmental impact. Our desire is to make a positive difference in the world and develop a solutions designed for simplicity and flexibility. Looking into the future, we believe that water management systems are necessary in all areas of life whether it be for environmental protection,  infrastructure or personal use. Join us in leading the way to a more informed, sustainable future.

Read the accompanying articles here:

Stuff: Report into Southland climate change predicts more extreme weather, warmer temperatures and higher river levels

Newshub: West Coast flooding runs new river through farmer's best paddocksWest Coast flooding runs new river through farmer's best paddocks

For further information on our sensors:

+64 3 477 2779



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