Mayor Gurunathan says it’s sobering to know that more than a quarter of the district’s properties are at risk of being flooded.

The bill to fix Kapiti’s stormwater issues is estimated by council to be a staggering $240 million, stated at a councillor workshop on the Council’s long-term plan.

The district’s stormwater system handles the surface water that runs off roads, driveways and footpaths in urban areas, with measures in place to manage the water quality that flows downstream.

“No one is debating that managing flood risks in the face of increasingly wet and wild weather is a challenge for the district – the question is where to start to ensure we address the areas of greatest need first?” says the Mayor.

“Following a severe storm in 2015 a significant investigation and prioritisation exercise was undertaken, which has resulted in the development of a more extensive program of works.

“We’d love to get the whole program completed as soon as possible but the price tag is hefty, at nearly $240 million.

“We’ll be seeking input from our communities on progressing with the new program.  We’ll do this as part of our long term plan community consultation, which gets underway towards the end of next month.”

Our views:

This isn’t news, we posted this GWRC map last July of the flood risk in Waikanae.  In the 2016 election pamphlet we stated that this is an essential infrastructure project, so it’s good to see that the council now seems to have decided that, too.

The map however, doesn’t distinguish between the relative likelihoods of what particular parts are at risk of being submerged.

The question “where to start to address the areas of greatest need first” isn’t difficult — find out where floods occur every time there is a deluge.  The above pic was taken by a local in Belvedere Avenue during one.

Next look at areas that get flooded from time to time.

What makes everyone suspicious is that $240 million figure quoted, particularly ahead of the presentation by the council bosses of what they want Rates to increase next financial year, beginning 1 July.