This is how we're responding in Christchurch.
Climate change projections show that while summer and autumn will be drier in the garden city, winter will be wetter, with up to 10% more rainfall by 2040. The city's low-lying areas, particularly the lower Ōtākaro-Avon River and margins of the Avon-Heathcote Ihutai Estuary, will be vulnerable to sea level rise and increased flooding as groundwater comes closer to the surface.
Environment Canterbury manages flood protection and control works for the entire region, including Christchurch, to help protect Greater Christchurch.
Christchurch City Council also plans for and responds to flooding.
The region‘s largest scheme, Environment Canterbury's Waimakariri-Eyre-Cust Scheme, provides flood protection from the Waimakariri River to the Greater Christchurch area. Without it, a catastrophic flood could cause an estimated $12 billion in damage.
Thanks to a climate resilience grant, Environment Canterbury is replacing the weed barrier on the Halswell/Huritini River. Weed is cut and removed from the riverbed to manage ground and surface water levels in the Halswell/Huritini area. Cut weed must be prevented from entering Te Waihora /Lake Ellesmere, which is a nationally important wetland of huge cultural importance, or it will severely degrade water quality through release of stored nutrients during decomposition.
Christchurch City Council's flood modelling includes a 'climate change factor' which, based on rainfall increase and sea level rise projections, is used in city planning and infrastructure management.
Find out about which areas of Christchurch are prone to flooding and how the Canterbury earthquakes have worsened flooding in many areas of the city.
The Christchurch District Plan provides a framework for managing land-use in areas subject to natural hazards such as flooding.