Waitaki River Levels Advisory

Published: Thu 15 Jan 2009 04:50 PM
Media Advisory
Waitaki River Levels Advisory
Environment Canterbury is issuing a warning to people who are camping or are likely to be near the Waitaki River next Monday, January 19, to be prepared for a sudden rise in water levels.
Environment Canterbury duty flood controller Tony Henderson said that the lakes are already at full capacity and warned that Meridian Energy will be spilling during the day. The full spilling amount will be reached around noon that day, 950 cumecs, which will be maintained for 24 hours.
“The Waitaki River has the capacity to handle the volume of water that Meridian Energy is planning on spilling,” said Tony Henderson. “However, we are advising all users of the river and those nearby to be aware that there is the possibility that the water level could rise very quickly and suddenly.”
South Island hydro lakes are at maximum capacity after weeks of heavy north-westerly rain.
With more north-west rain forecast in the coming days and low demand for power due to summer holidays, spilling is likely to continue from Benmore and Pukaki dams.
Environment Canterbury is advising people who will be near rivers and waterways throughout the region to phone 0900 RIVER (74837) or check conditions online at

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