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Mississippi Delta - Waihou-Piako

I tseems that when it comes to bad news about the Waihou-Piako, we would rather not hear it.

The Washington Post has a story today by Chris Mooney that you should read, because the similarities between what is happening on the Mississippi Delta, and what is happening on the Waihou-Piako is very similar.

Inundation appears inevitable. and it appears that controlling the rate of retreat is all that is left for us to plan for with our already stretched Waikato Regional Council. In talking to Council officials and others who charged with keeping the Piako swamp and its environs drained, it appears that the 100 plus pumps that have done the job to date are in the process of being overwhelmed.

This is not meant to scare anyone who will be affected over time, but everyone should be aware of the fundamental problems arising here from sea-level rise. Stop-banks cannot be expected to be effective with imperceptibly  rising ground water simply soaking through the underlying peat and achieves equivalence with what is happening in the Gulf.

The WRC is attempting to mount a rea-guard action through replacing pumps that are said to be old and possibly obselete. That is simply not the case - it is a case of existing capacity against overwhelming odds, and anyone who observed what hapened following last years inundation while driving across the plains on the Paeroa to Tahuna road cannot help but having been shocked by the time it took to clear the water from what had been pristine pasture.

Read the story by Chris Mooney to what is happening in the Mississippi Delta to understand what is in fact a similar problem. What we have on one hand is acknowledged sea-level rise that proceeeds apace regardless of the Canute-like response of our Councils, and on the other, the subsidence of our stop-banks and bunds .

Our Councils have a responsibuility, currently not displayed, to take this into account with their Ten Yaer Plans.

Every rate-payer has until 4pm on Monday afternoon to get their submissions in. If they don't hear from you, they will proceed on their present path. This is the only way of showing your displeasure at the plans and rate rises being proposed, And remember to tick the box enabling you to present your submission at the hearings that follow in person. I can tell from experience that the only submitters that are listened to are those that 'front-up.' 

TCDC may have limited influence over the Waihou-Piako situation, but planning for action to deal with hazards arising from the increased frequency of storms, and coastal inundation protection, is imperitive. It appears totally absent from the draft plan.




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